Operation Nanook getting underway across NWT

Operation Nanook 2014
Canadian Rangers at a field firing range during Operation Nanook 2014. Photo: JTFN.
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Canadian Armed Forces personnel are in Inuvik, Fort Smith and a number of other Northwest Territories communities for an annual exercise known as Operation Nanook.

Organizers call Nanook a “northern sovereignty operation”. Each year, the military and related agencies take part in a number of drills to test readiness for northern environments and assert Canadian authority over the region.

Plans for this year’s Operation Nanook will send up to 300 personnel to Inuvik, where they will rehearse the military’s response to a theoretical oil spill. In Fort Smith, up to a hundred others will work on a wildfire response scenario.

Tuktoyaktuk, Sachs Harbour and Ulukhaktok are also involved in this year’s drills, which feature almost a dozen aircraft ranging from helicopters to Hercules and Globemaster planes.

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Exercises are expected to be complete by the end of the month.

“Residents may notice an increase in military air, road and naval traffic in the region as Canadian Armed Forces personnel and equipment are transported to various locations,” read a forces statement issued earlier in August.

“Many military, government and emergency services personnel will also be in the area. Efforts will be made to minimize disruption to local residents.”

You can read more about this year’s Operation Nanook plans in these documents filed to the territorial regulator in July. There’s more information on operations of years past here.

Photos from this year’s operation are on Joint Task Force (North)’s Facebook page, or can look through photos from previous operations on Flickr.

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