Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

August 20, 2010 16:18 ET

Minister of National Defence Wraps Up Visit to the Arctic for Operation NANOOK

RESOLUTE BAY, NUNAVUT--(Marketwire - Aug. 20, 2010) - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, has wrapped up his participation in Operation NANOOK 10, the centrepiece of three major sovereignty operations conducted every year by the Canadian Forces (CF) in Canada's North.

Minister MacKay travelled to Resolute Bay, Pond Inlet and Nanisivik to see first hand the CF's expanded capabilities and operations to strengthen security and demonstrate Canada's sovereignty in the region.

"Exercising Canada's Arctic sovereignty is a key element of the Canada First Defence Strategy, and operations such as NANOOK enable the Canadian Forces and our whole-of-government partners to better deal with challenges in the North," said Minister MacKay. "Operation NANOOK 10 enhances the Canadian Forces' interoperability with other government departments and agencies and builds our collective capacity to respond, in a timely and effective manner, to safety and security threats or emergencies."

The military portion of Operation NANOOK 10 is an integrated sovereignty and presence patrolling exercise that includes over 900 participants from the Canadian Navy, Army, Air and Special Forces, and 600 personnel from Denmark and the United States. The United States Coast Guard, the U.S. Second Fleet and the Royal Danish Navy brought a complement of naval and air assets north to the exercise with the CF in order to strengthen preparedness, increase interoperability and exercise a collective response to emerging challenges in the Arctic.

Fourteen governmental departments and agencies from the federal, territorial and municipal levels will collaborate on whole-of-government portion of the exercise, led by the Canadian Coast Guard and involving the CF, Environment Canada (EC), the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), Natural Resources Canada (NR Can), Public Safety Canada and Parks Canada, as well as the Government of Nunavut and the community of Resolute Bay.

The operation this year is being conducted in Canada's Eastern and High Arctic area from August 6 to 26. Operation NANOOK 10 marks a precedent, as it will be the furthermost northern operation of the NANOOK series, taking place in the Lancaster Sound area in what is considered the High Arctic.

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