The First Battalion, The Royal New Brunswick Regiment is one of four reserve units from across the country designated to form the spine of a new Arctic force to be created over the next five years. Joining the 1RNBR will be the Voltigeurs de Quebec, Ontario's Grey and Simcoe Foresters, and Royal Winnipeg Rifles. To complement the creation of the unit, the military will continue with its plans to expand the Canadian Rangers, a group composed of First Nations and Inuit reservists. By 2012, those numbers are expected to reach 5,000 personnel. Should an incident occur in the Arctic, the soldiers would be available to respond.
Col. Greg MacCallum, commander of 37 Brigade Group , said the strategic significance of forming the new units is to exercise sovereignty and ownership of the Arctic.
"You do that, at least in part, by being able to project military forces into that region to show a presence and to show a capability and intent to exercise ownership of it."