Hundreds of reservists from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador are on their way to the U.S. Friday to take part in a simulated island war.

The Virginia exercise with American troops is called Southern Raider 13 and lasts three days. The 400 reservists from 37 Canadian Brigade Group will enact a scenario where they've been deployed to an island where two countries are at war.

Major Doug Grant, 37 Canadian Brigade Group, says it's a situation that can easily play out in a real theatre of war.

"One country has become belligerent and we see a humanitarian crisis developing, so the United Nations has asked for a security resolution and the soldiers are coming in now to assist," he said.

The exercise simulates coalition missions in Korea, Bosnia, Rwanda and dozens of other locations where Canadian soldiers have been deployed. 

"It's basically putting soldiers to task to create a safe and secure environment for the people," Grant said.

Third trip for soldier

The exercise will see a combination of air and land tactics in a joint Canadian-U.S. operation. It's the third time Second Lieutenant Gord Potts, also of 37 Canadian Brigade Group, will be making the trip to Virginia.

"Someone going out to drop off supplies might be met by a crowd of people and they'll have to deal with them as though they were, for example, Afghan civilians," he said of the exercises.

The Canadian Forces operate in 22 missions across the world, ranging from patrolling northern waters to supporting the French military in Mali.