Operation Nanook 2016, the Canadian Armed Forces’ annual northern sovereignty operation, ended on September 2, 2016. About 850 military and civilian participants took part in the operation, which focused on interagency operations with federal and territorial agencies in Yukon, and on security operations in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut.
“By engaging in Operation Nanook annually for the last nine years, the Canadian Armed Forces, as well as our partners at the federal, provincial, and municipal levels, have developed whole-of-government approaches to meet the challenges we face in the North,” said Minister of National Defence Harjit S. Sajjan. “I am immensely proud to have witnessed the extraordinary work of our Canadian Armed Forces first hand during my visit to the Yukon these past two days, and I extend my thanks to our hosts and partners in Yukon and Nunavut for helping make this operation a great success.”
Activities conducted in the vicinity of Rankin Inlet included military patrols, search and rescue training, and simulated combat exercises. In the areas of Whitehorse and Haines Junction, Yukon, a whole-of-government response to a simulated earthquake was exercised. Highlights of the operation included close collaboration among federal, territorial, municipal, and First Nations agencies, as well as non-governmental organizations. CH-146 Griffon helicopter crews participating in the operation also participated in an actual search and rescue of stranded Alaskan paddlers. A visit by the Honourable Harjit Sajjan, the Minister of National Defence ended Operation Nanook.
“Operation Nanook 2016 successfully met the goals set by Joint Task Force (North) and the Canadian Armed Forces to work alongside our partner agencies and government organizations in order to ensure safety and security in Canada’s North should an incident occur – whether it is the protection of Canada’s sovereignty or responding to a natural catastrophe,” said Brigadier-General Mike Nixon, commander of Joint Task Force (North).
Operation Nanook enables the Canadian Armed Forces to showcase its ability to operate effectively in the North, improves relationships with northern partners, and enhances Canada’s collective capability to respond to emergency situations in the North.
“The Champagne and Aishihik First Nations, as well as the Whitehorse and Haines Junction communities were fabulous hosts,” said Task Force Yukon commander Lieutenant-Colonel Eric Landry. “We received a warm welcome here – a beautiful location that perfectly fit the needs of our earthquake scenario because it is situated on a fault line and regularly experiences seismic activity. Operation Nanook 2016 was a wonderful opportunity to work with the Canadian Rangers, search and rescue teams, RCMP, and many other Northern partners.”