Helicopters Magazine

RCAF’s Operation Nanook 2016 underway in Canada’s North

August 25, 2016  By Royal Canadian Air Force

Operation Nanook 2016, Canada’s annual northern sovereignty operation, began on Sunday, August 21, 2016, and will occur in three locations across the North.

Approximately 850 military and civilian participants will take part in the operation, which this year will focus on interagency operations with federal and territorial agencies in Yukon.

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) has deployed land, maritime and air components as well as command, staff and support personnel. The air component from the Royal Canadian Air Force includes the following aircraft:

  • CC-138 Twin Otters based in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
  • CH-146 Griffon helicopters based in Edmonton, Alberta
  • CH-147F Chinook helicopters based in Petawawa, Ontario
  • CP-140 Aurora maritime patrol aircraft based in Comox, British Columbia 

“Canadian Armed Forces members have a reputation of being exceptionally skilled professionals because of the hard work and training they conduct year-round,” said Lieutenant-General Stephen Bowes, the commander of Canadian Joint Operations Command. “Operation Nanook focuses on an additional layer of training: working alongside federal and territorial agencies to develop a joint response to a simulated emergency. By training together and learning from one another, our members develop news skills to help them provide security and safety for Canadians.”

The operation comprises two scenarios. In one scenario, Canadian Armed Forces members will conduct Arctic security exercises in and around Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, from August 24 to 29 which will include patrols, search and rescue training, and simulated combat exercises. The other scenario, in the Whitehorse and Haines Junction areas of Yukon, from August 21 to September 2, 2016, will see a whole-of-government response to a simulated earthquake.


Operation Nanook enables the Canadian Armed Forces to showcase its ability to operate effectively in the North while improving relationships with northern partners that would be required to respond to a request for assistance in the event of a real emergency.

“In order to ensure the highest level of safety and security in Canada’s North, it is critical that responses to all incidents, whether natural catastrophes or protection of Canada’s sovereignty, are properly coordinated and executed,” said Brigadier-General Mike Nixon, the commander of Joint Task Force (North). “Ensuring that there is an organized, seamless ability to respond to events that could occur in the North, alongside our partner agencies and government organizations, is the key objective of Joint Task Force (North) and the Canadian Armed Forces during Operation Nanook 2016.”


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