Hitting back at Mother Nature with a vintage howitzer (VIDEO)
By Chris Eger
Canadian soldiers have mobilized to wage war against snow and ice in the ongoing mission to control avalanches in British Columbia.
As part of their seasonal Highway Avalanche Control Program, Parks Canada has reservists from the Ottawa-based 30th Field Artillery Regiment, and their old but still effective C3 howitzers to help keep Rogers Pass open.
Dubbed Operation Palaci, the mission has been running since 1961 and involves the gunners setting up along 17 roadside positions along the Trans-Canada Highway where they lay the heat on identified snow and ice accumulations targeted by avalanche forecasters.
The C3 at 105mm play (Photos: Canadian Forces)
If the C3 looks familiar, its the same M2A/M101 105mm gun used by the U.S. military through WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. Long ago replaced in front-line service, the howitzer still soldiers on with the Canadians as well as the U.S. Forest Service for avalanche control. Notably, Picatinny Arsenal has pitched in over the years to keep the guns, which went out of production when Eisenhower was in office, up to snuff. It is thought the 100 or so C3s still used in Canada will continue to serve for the next two decades.
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