Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence
Canada Command

Canada Command

August 29, 2009 09:51 ET

Annual Arctic Sovereignty Operation Comes to a Close

IQALUIT, NUNAVUT--(Marketwire - Aug. 29, 2009) - The more than 700 personnel involved in Operation NANOOK 2009 are heading home after three weeks of military operations and government exercises in the Eastern Arctic. Held annually, this year's operation included numerous sovereignty patrols, a military training and whole-of-government exercise designed to test emergency preparedness in the North.

"Operation NANOOK 2009 demonstrated Canada's ability to integrate land, sea and air operations in an austere Northern environment while responding to emergencies in support of the territorial government," said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway. "These operations are an important investment in the North and confirm this Government's commitment to protecting Canada's Arctic sovereignty."

During the operation Canadian Forces ships, aircraft, and land forces, working with the Coast Guard, conducted a range of sovereignty patrols over the Eastern Arctic and participated in a joint military exercise designed to enhance the ability of the CF to operate in the far north. Also integrated with the operation was a whole-of-government effort to support Nunavut's emergency management organization in an exercise to test emergency preparedness in response to a critical infrastructure failure.

"Operation NANOOK 2009 allowed us to continue to build strong emergency management capacity in the North," said the Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of Public Safety. "I would like to congratulate all participants on this successful operation. Exercises like NANOOK provide a valuable opportunity for participants from all levels of government to train together so that we respond to threats and natural disasters in a coordinated manner."

"By working together with our federal and territorial government partners, we can increase our capacity to respond to emergencies. In the North, responding to emergencies requires a team approach," said General Walt Natynczyk, Chief of the Defence Staff. "This operation provided us the means to exercise our collective abilities to work together in the North in response to safety and security matters, and to provide the reassurance to territorial partners that federal agencies are ready to respond when needed."

Operation NANOOK 2009 is one of three major sovereignty operations conducted every year by the CF in Canada's North. This operation was conducted with the participation of personnel, ships, a submarine, and aircraft from the Navy, Army, Air Force and Coast Guard, working under Joint Task Force (North) (JTFN). As one of six regional commands reporting to Canada Command in Ottawa, JTFN is responsible for the conduct of all routine and contingency CF operations in Canada's North.

Note to Editors:

B-Roll footage will be available throughout the operation from the Combat Camera FTP site at:

Still imagery will be available to media and the general public from the Combat Camera website at:

Contact Information

  • Operation NANOOK
    Lieutenant (Navy) Jordan Holder
    Public Affairs Director
    867-873-0700, ext 6005
    867-766-6803 (FAX)
    Portable: 867-445-4060