Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence
Canada Command

Canada Command

April 16, 2007 09:30 ET

CF Arctic Operation Practices Assistance to RCMP and Response to a Major Airline Disaster

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - April 16, 2007) - The Canadian Forces will conduct Operation NARWHAL 07, a sovereignty operation, in the Northwest Territories from April 16-27, 2007. The operation will take place in and around Norman Wells and Fort Simpson. During the operation, troops and aircraft will exercise assistance to the RCMP in response to a simulated threat to the oil production and transportation infrastructure in the Northwest Territories.

"In domestic operations, the military responds to requests from civilian authorities and it is imperative that we take the opportunity to exercise with other government departments in order to ensure our processes work as they should," said Lt.-Gen. Marc Dumais, Commander Canada Command. "Operation NARWHAL 07 will allow Joint Task Force (North) to work with its civilian counterparts and will strengthen those relationships which are so essential, especially in Canada's Arctic."

There will be approximately 250 soldiers in and around Norman Wells and about 40 military personnel in Fort Simpson primarily around the airport. Canadian Forces Griffon helicopters, Twin Otter and Aurora aircraft will also be involved in the operation, transporting soldiers for heliborne patrols and providing aerial surveillance in the Beaufort Sea area.

In addition, the Canadian Forces will practice the activation of the military's Major Air Disaster (MAJAID) Plan in a remote northern environment. The MAJAID exercise will take place April 23-25, 2007, primarily in Inuvik, with some activity in Aklavik. The airline disaster will be the result of mechanical trouble.

Helicopters will be used to transfer the 'survivors' from Aklavik to Inuvik. CF Search and Rescue Technicians will triage the survivors and will give care until they can be transferred to hospital locations outside of Inuvik. There will be approximately 40 military personnel in Inuvik and about 30 military personnel in Aklavik. Canadian Forces Twin Otter, Aurora and Hercules aircraft are also involved in the MAJAID exercise.

Operation NARWHAL 07 is a Canada Command operation designed to exercise Joint Task Force (North) in the conduct of domestic operations in support of other government departments in its area of responsibility, Canada's Arctic. Operation NARWHAL 07 is the final phase of a three-phase exercise. A Table Top Exercise was held in September 2005 in Yellowknife; a Command Post Exercise was held in Yellowknife in June 2006, during which the same two scenarios were used.

Note to Editors: Images of Operation NARWHAL will be available beginning 20 April on the CF Image Gallery website:

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