01/23/2012 01:19 EST | Updated 03/24/2012 05:12 EDT

Military convoy begins trek to the Arctic

Hundreds of military vehicles and personnel are beginning a three-day trek from CFB Edmonton to Yellowknife to test themselves and their gear in a harsh winter environment.

The military convoy consists of three large groups travelling on separate dates:

* 90 soldiers and 50 vehicles will travel Jan. 20-22.

* 230 soldiers and 80 vehicles will travel Jan. 25-27.

* 60 soldiers and 25 vehicles will travel Feb. 9-11.

All vehicles will be further broken down into 'packets' of about 10 vehicles for reasons of safety and to alleviate congestion on highways.

The convoys will stop for rest and refueling at specified stops along the way. Fuel trucks will be travelling with the convoy.

The training exercise called ARCTIC RAM 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group's first to be conducted in the Northwest Territories.

Exercise ARCTIC RAM, from Feb. 14 to 26, will re-familiarize soldiers with northern operations by assessing their ability to operate in a cold winter climate, test all personnel and equipment, and help soldiers to develop an awareness of the unique requirements of Arctic operations.