Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence
Joint Task Force (North)

Joint Task Force (North)

April 22, 2009 16:32 ET

Canadian Forces Announces the Successful Completion to High Arctic Operation

YELLOWKNIFE, NORTHWEST TERRITORIES--(Marketwire - April 22, 2009) - Canadian Forces soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen, and members of the Canadian Rangers successfully completed their missions last week and returned to the Command Post at Eureka, Ellesmere Island, signalling the end of Operation Nunalivut 2009.

"The Government of Canada has made the Canadian Arctic a priority and the successful completion of Operation Nunalivut is a reflection of our determination to enforce sovereignty and security over our territory," said Peter Gordon MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway.

"Operating in Canada's High Arctic continues to be a challenge given the harsh climate, vast area, sparse population, and limited infrastructure," said Vice-Admiral Dean McFadden, Commander of Canada Command, the lead military organization responsible for Canadian Forces domestic and continental operations. "Annual operations like Operation Nunalivut offer valuable lessons on how to operate safely and efficiently in this challenging region."

"Operation Nunalivut 2009 proved that the Canadian Forces are prepared to operate in the High Arctic," said Brig.-Gen. David Millar, the Commander of Joint Task Force (North). "The Canadian Rangers and search and rescue technicians who patrolled the ice, rock, and snow, and the Air Force personnel who supported them with re-supply flights, airlift and surveillance, all demonstrated the dedication, determination, and skill that is essential to operate in this environment. This operation was a clear demonstration of tactical-integrated effect."

Nunalivut, which means "land that is ours" in Inuktitut, is one of three major sovereignty operations conducted every year by the CF in Canada's North. From April 4th to 17th, patrols of Canadian Rangers endured the cold temperatures and rough terrain, travelling to the furthest reaches of Alexandra Fiord on the eastern coast of Ellesmere Island and circumnavigating Axel Heiberg Island along the western coast.

Search and rescue technicians conducted a parachute insertion and provided medical services during the operation. They played a vital role providing real life medical help when a Ranger was seriously injured and had to be evacuated by 440 (Transport) Squadron, which operates CC-138 Twin Otters.

This year's operation saw RADARSAT-2/Polar Epsilon reconnaissance data used to provide information on ice and travel conditions to the advancing patrols. The operation also involved an exchange visit with the Commander of Greenland Command, Danish Rear-Admiral Henrik Kudsk, which may lead to future collaboration for Arctic exercises.

Canada Command's six regional commands, including Joint Task Force (North), monitor developments across the country on a continuous basis and stand ready to deploy the Canadian Forces when and where they are needed. Defending Canadians at home is the Command's primary mission.

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