The Canadian Rangers have a new Patrol in Quesnel.
On behalf of Lt.-Col. Russ Meades, Commanding Officer of 4th Canadian Rangers Patrol Group (4CRPG), Master Cpl.. Paul Nichols met with Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes, Cariboo-Prince George MP Todd Doherty and Cariboo Regional District Area A Director Mary Sjostrom Friday (Aug. 2) at Oakes’s office to announce that B.C. Company is standing up a new patrol in Quesnel.
“We are a lightly-equipped self-sufficient segment of the Army Reserve,” explained Nichols, the Patrol Commander. “We are the eyes and the ears of the military in local community.”
4 CRPG is responsible for Canada’s four western provinces and reports to the 3rd Canadian Division. In the past, Canadian Rangers of 4 CRPG have helped RCMP and local enforcement officials by patrolling the West Coast and waters of Canada, watching for illegal immigrants in Canada’s waters; conducting many search and rescue operations, assisting in community evacuations, and providing support to 3rd Canadian Division Operation LENTUS events, according to their website.
4 CRPG provides patrols for national-security and public-safety missions in sparsely populated, coastal and isolated areas of Western Canada that cannot be conveniently or economically covered by other parts of the Canadian Armed Forces. The Canadian Rangers’ roots go back to the Pacific Coast Militia Rangers, who were formed March 3, 1942, and were tasked with conducting patrols and surveillance on the B.C. coast and into the Yukon, against the threat of a possible Japanese invasion during the Second World War.
During Op LENTUS, when the Canadian Armed Forces were deployed domestically to this area during the wildfires, Canadian Rangers were at a lot of the checkpoints on the highway as local sources of knowledge and information, Nichols explained during the meeting.
“It’s an invaluable resource,” he said.
The Rangers work on a Local Area Resource Report so they have information such as the size of the airport runway, where resources are located and other important logistical information, and it is updated often.
“Our primary role is to provide that local area resource and local knowledge,” explained Nichols. “Our secondary role is preservation of a skill set in that, with an increasingly urban Canadian population, the Canadian Rangers are subject matter experts when it comes to wilderness survival and mobility, whether that mobility is jet boats, dog sleds, ATVs or horseback.”
Equine mobility will be a focus of the Quesnel Patrol.
Nichols has been authorized to raise a patrol, which is three sections, with leadership, so 32 members for a full patrol.
The local political leaders were all thrilled to hear the news.
“This is so exciting,” said Oakes.
The Canadian Rangers’ motto is Vigilans, meaning “The Watchers.” There are currently about 5,000 Canadian Rangers living in 200 communities across Canada, according to the Canadian Army.
Following the meeting, Nichols presented a Canadian Rangers flag to Oakes.
“In keeping with military tradition, we don’t give gifts of new flags — we give flags that have been flown,” he said. “The first meeting when we had Canadian Rangers on station, we flew this flag at our patrol meeting.”
The SkyHawks, the Canadian Armed Forces’s parachute team later jumped with that same flag during their Sunday show at SkyFest.
To learn more about the Quesnel Patrol, contact Nichols at firstname.lastname@example.org.