Military establishing two camps in Callaghan 

ISU trying to let backcountry users know where restricted zones will be

The military component of the 2010 Integrated Security Unit (ISU) is setting up two camps in the Callaghan Valley as it supports an RCMP-led mission to secure the Olympic Games.

Major Dan Thomas, a public affairs officer with ISU, last week pointed out the various locations throughout the corridor from which the military will operate during the Games.

Thomas said ISU expects to install a platoon house at the Madeley Creek quarry, as well as at the Canadian Snowmobile Adventures base in the Callaghan.

"The army has a habit of finding romantic quarry locations to site our troops in," Thomas said.

Thomas and Capt. Trevor Michelsen visited Pique 's office last week in an attempt to clear up where the camps will be so that backcountry users don't stray too close to them and have to be escorted out when they've planned a day of recreation.

"We want everyone to know what's going on," Michelsen said.

Canadian Forces spokesmen have repeatedly said that people encountering soldiers in the backcountry during the Games should not panic. Soldiers will approach, say "hello" and escort people out in vehicles.

"We're meant to be non-threatening," Thomas said.

Outside the Callaghan, the ISU's Land Component Command will locate its headquarters at a camp at Cal-Cheak quarry, which will also serve as headquarters of Task Force Whistler, the soldiers who will be doing security at Whistler Olympic Park and the Whistler Athletes' Village.

The Land Component Command station at Cal-Cheak quarry is the headquarters covering all the land forces in British Columbia during the Olympics, according to Michelsen.

There will also be a small camp at Whistler Aggregate for troops supporting the RCMP with surveillance in the Outer Controlled Access Zone (OCAZ) at Whistler Athletes Village.

Security around venues will operate at three levels. The highest level of security is known as the Controlled Access Zone. Here no one can enter without a pass. The area inside the fence at Whistler Athletes' Village is a good example of that.

Next is the Outer Controlled Access Zone, which also has a high level of security but not as much as the CAZ. Outside those zones is the Surveillance Zone, which will see patrols by Canadian Forces personnel going up and down hills in the backcountry on equipment like snowmobiles, Arctic toboggans and even Bandvagn-206's, fixed-track vehicles that are generally used to transport people through difficult terrain.

Michelsen said he's working on getting a better definition of the OCAZ out to the public so that people have a better idea of when they've strayed too close to patrolled areas. He said an RCMP constable is currently working on getting a better-defined OCAZ for each venue site.

Other military installations during the Games will include MPN-25 radar at both the Squamish and Pemberton Airports, which will be used to survey airspace. There will also be a camp at Twin Rivers quarry between Whistler and Pemberton to service the Canadian Forces air component, which will fly helicopters out of Whistler Heliport.

Griffon choppers stationed at the heliport will be coloured green if intended for standard use and yellow if intended for search and rescue.




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