Op Nanook Underway To Demonstrate Arctic Sovereignty

(OTTAWA, ON) - The Canadian Forces’ largest annual demonstration of Canada’s sovereignty in the Arctic, known as Operation NANOOK, began today as the Canadian-led Naval Task Group crossed the 60th parallel en route to the High Arctic. 

This year, the 20-day event will be based out of Resolute, Nunavut—the northernmost location to host the operation since its inception in 2007. Operation NANOOK will feature sovereignty and presence patrolling, military exercises, and will culminate with a whole-of-government exercise that focuses on fuel spill containment and remediation of a simulated leak in the Resolute Bay area.

“The NANOOK operations are an important demonstration of our Government’s commitment to the Arctic region” said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence. “Building from experience and successes of previous operations, Operation NANOOK is the most complex operation of its kind, demonstrating our increased capacity and confidence in operating in the high Arctic.”

“Operation NANOOK is a clear demonstration of the Canadian Forces fulfilling our primary mission as stated in the Canada First Defence Strategy,” said General Walt Natynczyk, Chief of the Defence Staff. “We are committed to ensuring the security of all Canadians and to enhancing our presence in the Arctic by conducting sovereignty exercises and operations in cooperation with other government departments.”

As part of the Arctic Reserve Company Group, members of southern-Ontario Army Reserve units will conduct training exercises with Canadian Rangers in Resolute Bay and Pond Inlet. The Air Force will be providing air movement and mission support through the CC-177 Globemaster III, CC-130 Hercules, CP-140 Aurora, CH-146 Griffon, and CC-138 Twin Otter aircraft. The maritime component will include Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships (HMCS) Montreal, Glace Bay and Goose Bay; and Canadian Coast Guard Ships CCGS Des Groseilliers and CCGS Henry Larsen;

Canada has also invited the American naval destroyer USS Porter from the United States Second Fleet; the United States Coast Guard Cutter (USCGC) Alder; and the Royal Danish Navy ocean patrol vessel HDMS Vaedderen and offshore patrol vessel HDMS Knud Rasmussen for the purpose of exercising and increasing our interoperability with Arctic allies.

Operation NANOOK is based in the Eastern Arctic and is one of three major recurring sovereignty operations conducted annually by the CF in Canada’s Arctic, along with Operation NUNALIVUT in the High Arctic, and Operation NUNAKPUT in the Western Arctic. Planned and directed by Joint Task Force North in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, these annual operations highlight interoperability, command and control, and cooperation with interdepartmental and intergovernmental partners in the North.

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