Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

April 07, 2010 11:43 ET

Canadian Forces Conducts Sovereignty Operation in the High Arctic

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 7, 2010) - The Government of Canada is pleased to announce the beginning of Operation NUNALIVUT 10, a major sovereignty and security operation in Canada's High Arctic, from April 6 to 26, 2010, in and around Canadian Forces Station (CFS) Alert. During OP NUNALIVUT, which is Inuktitut for "land that is ours," the Canadian Forces will face some of the most challenging terrain and weather conditions Canada has to offer as they conduct a number of training exercises. 

Operation NUNALIVUT 10, is one of three major operations conducted every year by the Canadian Forces in Canada's North. This year's operation will be conducted along the most northern tip of Ellesmere Island, in the vicinity of CFS Alert, Ward Hunt Island and Alert Point. The aim of the operation is to demonstrate and improve upon the Canadian Forces' capabilities to respond to safety and security challenges in the Arctic.

"Op NUNALIVUT, and other operations like it, serve as an excellent example of the Government of Canada's commitment to both a secure and sovereign North, and to the Canadian Forces," said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence. "The Canadian Forces play a key role in achieving our goals in the North, and the Government of Canada is making sure they have the tools they need to carry out a full range of tasks in the Arctic." 

This operation will include reconnaissance and surveillance patrols by the Canadian Rangers on the land, in the air and over the ice in an effort to understand the dynamic changes occurring in the Arctic. This understanding and the lessons learned will be used to adapt tactics, techniques and procedures for operating in the high Arctic.

"The Arctic is changing; where there was ice, there is now water," said Brigadier-General David Millar, Commander, JTFN. "We need to be prepared to respond to calls for assistance in this new environment, whether it is search and rescue or other emergencies on the land or at sea. Operation NUNALIVUT 10 provides the perfect opportunity to test the capabilities that will allow us to deploy rapidly and effectively in response to tomorrow's safety and security challenges."

This year's operation will also feature combined training with the Danish military's SIRIUS Dog Sledge patrol and assisting Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) scientists in conducting research on the effects of operating in the High Arctic. The information collected on this operation will assist in future missions in the North, and will prove useful in the event that JTFN is called upon to respond to a domestic emergency in the High Arctic.

To mark the end of the operation, a closing ceremony and parade will be conducted at CFS Alert, where Nunavut government officials will be in attendance, most notably the Premier of Nunavut, The Honourable Eva Aariak, the Minister of Environment and Minister of Human Resources, Minister Daniel Shewchuk, and Member of the Legislative Assembly for Quttiktuq region, Mr. Ron Elliot. Mary Simon, President, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami will also be participating in the closing events.

Note to Editors:

As of 19 April, new still imagery will be available from Canadian Forces Combat Camera at: Video B-roll will be available at Imagery of past Op NUNALIVUT missions can also be found on these sites.

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