Operation NUNAKPUT

Newshttp://www.forces.gc.caen_CA Operation NUNAKPUT 2017 concludes in Hay River, Northwest Territories https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/news/2017/07/operation_nunakput2017concludesinhayrivernorthwestterritories.html j56y21ua Fri, 21 Jul 2017 13:37:13 <p>The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have successfully concluded Operation NUNAKPUT 2017 after nearly four weeks of presence and domain operations across the Northwest Territories.</p>

Operation NUNAKPUT is a Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) operation to show a federal presence in Canada’s North. It has been run each year since 2007 and takes place in and around:

  • the Mackenzie River;
  • Great Slave Lake; and
  • Beaufort Sea region of the western Arctic.

Operation NUNAKPUT objectives are:

  • to assert Canada’s legal status over its far north regions;
  • to enhance CAF ability to operate in Arctic conditions;
  • to improve partnerships in whole-of-government operations; and
  • to practice working together with mission partners. This provides the best response to safety and security issues in the North.

The Task Force

Operation NUNAKPUT brings together CAF members and assets from across Canada. They are drawn from Canadian Army (CA) and Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) units.

Operation NUNAKPUT force size and make-up varies from year to year. It is structured around planned activities and exercises. The operation always includes:

  • 1st Canadian Ranger Patrol Group;  
  • 440 “Vampire” Transport Squadron;
  • 407 Long Range Patrol Squadron from 19 Wing Comox; and
  • 405 Long Range Patrol Squadron from 14 Wing Greenwood.

During Operation NUNAKPUT, the CAF runs missions and taskings linked with:

  • the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP);
  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO); and
  • Environment Canada (EC).

Global Significance

The Arctic is known to have large reserves of fossil fuels and mineral deposits. These include gold and diamonds. Climate change is making the North more accessible. As a result, it is attracting more and more Canadian and international attention.

The Arctic icecap is gradually being eroded. This makes the Arctic Archipelago waters more navigable every year, and more ships enter the region. Air traffic in the North is also growing. 

The increase in traffic at sea and in the air, and the increasing use of natural resources in the North, increase the risk of:

  • sovereignty challenges;
  • environmental problems;
  • accidents requiring search-and-rescue response; and
  • criminal activity, especially illicit entry of people and goods.

Past deployments 


Operation NUNAKPUT 2017

Operation NUNAKPUT 2017 took place in the Northwest Territories from June 26 to July 20, 2017. It took place around Great Slave Lake, around Deline, along the Mackenzie River up to Tuktoyaktuk, at Hay River, and on the Nahanni River.

About 140 Canadian Armed Forces members and employees from other government departments and agencies took part.

Working with Northern partners, Operation NUNAKPUT 2017 consisted of:

  •          a series of maritime and safety patrols;
  •          water and ground reconnaissance;
  •          survival training; and
  •          a disaster preparation assessment.

Operation NUNAKPUT 2016

Operation NUNAKPUT 2016 took place from July 5 to 20. It was run in the South Mackenzie River and Great Slave Lake regions. The operation was run closely with Northern partners. It consisted of a series of:

  • maritime patrols;
  • community engagements; and
  • training opportunities.

The training opportunities involved:  

  • search and rescue training;
  • small-boat-operator training for Canadian Rangers; and
  • marine patrolling and training.

Operation NUNAKPUT 2015

Operation NUNAKPUT 2015 took place from July 6 to 23.  CAF members from JTFN and 1 Canadian Ranger Patrol Group conducted maritime patrols. They patrolled along the Mackenzie River from Hay River to Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories.  CAF members from 440 Transport Squadron also flew aerial patrols. The CAF partnered with:

  • Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO);
  • Environment Canada (EC); and
  • Royal Canadian Mountain Police (RCMP).

In total, about 100 personnel from the four federal departments took part in the operation.


Operation NUNAKPUT 2014

Operation NUNAKPUT 2014 took place from mid-June to mid-July.  The task force comprised:

  • CAF members from 1 Canadian Ranger Patrol Group,
  • CAF members and assets from 440 (transport) Squadron;
  • CAF members from Joint Task Force North; and,  
  • other government partners.

The CAF and partners conducted joint training, surveillance and presence patrols along the Mackenzie River.


Operation NUNAKPUT 2013

Operation NUNAKPUT 2013 ran from mid-June to mid-July. About 60 CAF members took part in the operation. They ran joint exercises with other government partners. They also kept watch and conducted presence patrols of:

  • Great Slave Lake;
  • the Mackenzie River; and
  • the Beaufort Sea.

The purpose of the patrols was to increase awareness of the areas and to promote ways for the partners to work together.


Operation NUNAKPUT 2012

Operation NUNAKPUT 2012 (July) took place in the region of:

  • Great Slave Lake;
  • the Mackenzie River; and
  • the Beaufort Sea.

A detachment of about 20 Canadian Rangers partnered with RCMP and DFO Officers. They patrolled on land and by boat. The patrols were made along the Mackenzie River and in the coastal waters of the Beaufort Sea. Joint Task Force North (JTFN) Headquarters provided equipment and logistics support. JTFN also liaised with civilian leaders of the territorial government and at the community level.

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