Canadian Army Construction Exercise in Atlantic Canada helps 'Build' Soldiers' Skills

October 31, 2016 – Bathurst, N.B. – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

A group of 500 Canadian Armed Forces personnel from 4 Engineering Support Regiment and 37 Canadian Brigade Group will conduct Exercise NIHILO SAPPER 2016, a large-scale construction engineering exercise taking place in Bathurst, New Brunswick, from November 1 to 22.

Held annually, this exercise is conducted to give both Regular and Reserve Force members’ hands-on technical training, ensuring the Canadian Army is ready to deploy soldiers if called upon.

Exercise NIHILO SAPPER 2016 training activities related to construction and engineering will take place in and around the Bathurst area, providing an opportunity for soldiers to be out in the community and show Canadians that they are Strong, Proud and Ready.

Participation in Exercise NIHILO SAPPER enhances the readiness of the Canadian Armed Forces to undertake missions at the direction of the Government of Canada.


“Exercise NIHILO SAPPER 16 is a valuable training opportunity that allows Canadian Armed Forces Engineers to practice the skills required to establish infrastructure to support military operations in Canada and abroad. A team of professionals from across the Canadian Army, Navy, Air Force, and Canadian Joint Operations Command will be deploying to the Bathurst area where they will be completing a number of engineer projects, some of which will have a long-lasting impact on the local community.”

Lieutenant-Colonel Christopher Cotton, Commanding Officer, 4 Engineering Support Regiment

“Exercises like NIHILO SAPPER confirm our Military Engineers’ readiness to deploy when and where required. This specific exercise will also provide us with a unique opportunity to train with our colleagues from the Royal Canadian Navy and support our neighbours in the Greater Bathurst area.’’

Colonel Daniel MacIsaac, Commander, 5th Canadian Division Support Group

Quick Facts

  • Exercise NIHILO SAPPER 2016 is an annual training event led by 4 Engineering Support Regiment, based out of 5 Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown. Construction engineering exercises such as this allows the Canadian Army to maintain a high level of readiness for future commitments either at home or abroad.
  • During Exercise NIHILO SAPPER 2016, participants will build a temporary 500-person camp south of Bathurst and participate in several construction and infrastructure upgrade projects within the community, including building a bridge that will be used by all-terrain vehicles, upgrading a trail, inspecting port facilities in the area, and conducting water purification operations and military training at a local mine site.
  • Canadian Military Engineers provide the tactical and technical expertise and skills to prepare camps, airfields, ports, utilities, and other facilities to receive and sustain operations that the Government of Canada chooses to employ domestically and internationally.



Corporal Ben Wierdsma, 4 ESR, manoeuvres a steel girder that will support a small bridge in Rockwood Park, in St. John New Brunswick, on November 17, 2015, during Exercise NIHILO SAPPER 2015.

Photo by WO Jerry Kean, 5 Canadian Division HQ Public Affairs

Related Links

Canadian Army Links

For more information contact:

Captain Evelyne Lemire
Public Affairs Officer
5th Canadian Division Support Group Public Affairs
5th Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown
Phone: 506-422-3634
Mobile: 506-422-3634

For more information on a media visit to Exercise NIHILO SAPPER contact:

Sub-Lieutenant Jamie Tobin
Public Affairs Officer, Exercise NIHILO SAPPER
Phone: 902-441-3209

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