Canadian Forces highlights the success of its High Arctic Operation

RESOLUTE BAY, NU. – One of the major sovereignty operations conducted every year by Canadian Forces (CF) in the High Arctic, Operation (Op) Nunalivut 2012, concluded on Wednesday, April 25. This year’s operation focused on the domestic capabilities demonstrated by the CF in response to a simulated Whole of Government, safety-driven mission.

“Op Nunalivut 2012 continues to exemplify the Government of Canada’s commitment to exercise security and sovereignty in the North and ensure the Canadian Forces are well-trained to meet the challenges of the Arctic,” said Minister MacKay. “The Canadian Forces are a critical factor in our government’s vision for that region, and with operations like Nunalivut, we help ensure they have what they need to carry out a full range of tasks effectively in the North.”

During Op Nunalivut 2012, the CF worked in some of the most challenging and austere conditions encountered in Canada. The operation was conducted in the Canadian High Arctic, in the vicinity of Cornwallis Island and on the western portion of Devon Island.

“The Canadian Rangers are ambassadors of Canada’s North. I am extremely proud of the crucial surveillance patrols the Canadian Rangers have conducted during Op Nunalivut 2012,” said Commissioner Elias, who attended the closing ceremony. “The Canadian Rangers used their knowledge of the land to work with other members of the Canadian Forces to ensure the safety of the North.”

The long-range Canadian Ranger Patrols, the Arctic diving abilities provided by the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) divers, as well as the unique ski-landing capability of the Royal Canadian Air Force CC-138 Twin Otter were all integral to the success of the operation. During their sovereignty patrols, the Canadian Rangers had an opportunity to further refine their area search techniques, as well as their reconnaissance and predator control duties.

“Sovereignty operations like Op Nunalivut 2012 allow the Canadian Forces to regularly demonstrate a visible presence in the region,” said Lieutenant-General Walter Semianiw, the Commander of Canada Command. “As part of the Canada First Defence Strategy, we maintain the capacity to exercise control over and defend Canada’s Arctic territory, and to provide assistance to other government departments and agencies when called upon.”

The 2012 edition of Op Nunalivut also allowed the RCN to improve their ability to conduct Arctic diving operations in support of Defence Research and Development Canada’s Northern Watch Project. The dive team used a submersible Remotely Operated Vehicle to survey the wreck of HMS Breadalbane, a Franklin expedition rescue ship that sank in 1853, which is the world’s most northern known shipwreck. High Arctic search and rescue training was also conducted by 413 Transport and Rescue Squadron from Greenwood, Nova Scotia, and 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron from Comox, British Columbia, who deployed a CC-130 Hercules and a CC-115 Buffalo aircraft.

Department of National Defence, Canada