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>

An important recurring Canadian Armed Forces sovereignty operation conducted annually in the North, Operation NUNAKPUT takes place in the Mackenzie River, Great Slave Lake and Beaufort Sea region of the western Arctic.

 The objectives of Operation NUNAKPUT are:

  • To assert Canada’s sovereignty over its northernmost regions;
  • To enhance the Canadian Armed Forces’ ability to operate in Arctic conditions;
  • To improve coordination and cooperation in whole-of-government operations; and
  • To maintain interoperability with mission partners for maximum effectiveness in response to safety and security issues in the North.

The Task Force

Operation NUNAKPUT comprises personnel and assets from across Canada, and is drawn from Canadian Army and Royal Canadian Air Force units.

The size and make-up of the forces deployed on Operation NUNAKPUT vary from year to year, according to the planned mix of activities and exercises, but they always include :

  • 1st Canadian Ranger Patrol Group, a Reserve formation of the Canadian Army headquartered in Yellowknife, with 60 patrol units distributed in communities across the North; and
  • 440 “Vampire” Transport Squadron, an RCAF unit based in Yellowknife, flying the CC-138 Twin Otter, a utility transport aircraft designed for short take-off and landing and adaptable to skis; and
  • 407 Long Range Patrol Squadron from 19 Wing Comox and 405 Long Range Patrol Squadron from 14 Wing Greenwood, operating CP-140 Aurora long range reconnaissance aircraft.

Operation NUNAKPUT is conducted under operational command of Commander CJOC and operational control of Joint Task Force (North) Headquarters in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.

Mission context

The area

The Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces define the North as the area encompassing:

  • the Sub-Arctic Region, the part of Canada that lies between 55 and 60 degrees North latitude; and
  • the Arctic region, the part of Canada that lies north of 60 degrees North latitude.

The high Arctic is the part of the Arctic Region that lies north of the Arctic Circle, which is 66.5 degrees North latitude.

The global environment

The Arctic is known to have vast reserves of fossil fuels and an abundance of minerals, including gold and diamonds, and is increasingly accessible due to climate change. Consequently, this region is attracting more and more Canadian and international attention.

Because climate change is gradually eroding the Arctic icecap, the waters of the Arctic Archipelago are more navigable every year and more ships enter the region. Air traffic in the North is also growing; the annual total of flights on polar routes in Canadian airspace increased from fewer than 1,000 in 2003 to almost 10,000 in 2010.

The increase in traffic at sea and in the air, and the escalating exploitation of natural resources in the North, boost the risk of sovereignty challenges, environmental problems, accidents giving rise to search-and-rescue requirements, and criminal activity, especially illicit entry of people and goods.

The mission

The first Operation NUNAKPUT was conducted in 2007.

As an Arctic nation, Canada regularly and fully exercises its sovereign rights and jurisdiction in its northern territories. The Canadian Armed Forces have a significant role to play in forestalling sovereignty challenges, defending Canada against threats in the region, and protecting Canadians by supporting whole-of-government efforts to ensure appropriate responses to security and environmental concerns in the North.

In Operation NUNAKPUT, the Canadian Armed Forces conduct concurrent and complementary operations with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) and Environment Canada (EC). These activities test the effectiveness of the Canadian Armed Forces northern capabilities and promote the whole-of-government working model outlined in the Canada First Defence Strategy and Canada’s Northern Strategy.

The results

Operation NUNAKPUT helps ensure the North remains secure within a strong and sovereign Canada. The regular presence of the Canadian Armed Forces in the western Arctic visibly expresses Canadian sovereignty while providing the Canadian Armed Forces with eyes and ears in a remote region of our country.

Past deployments 


Operation NUNAKPUT 2017

Operation NUNAKPUT 2017 took place in the Northwest Territories from June 26 to July 20, 2017. This year’s operation is 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 participated.

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 in the South Mackenzie River and Great Slave Lake regions. 

Op NUNAKPUT 2016 consisted of a series of maritime patrols, training opportunities, and community engagements. Search and rescue training, small boat operator training for Rangers, marine patrolling and training, and community events were conducted in close cooperation with Northern partners.


Operation NUNAKPUT 2015

From July 6 to 23, CAF members from Joint Task Force North and 1 Canadian Ranger Patrol Group conducted maritime patrols along the Mackenzie River from Hay River to Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories alongside partners from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), Environment Canada, and the Royal Canadian Mountain Police (RCMP). CAF members from 440 (Transport) Squadron also conducted aerial patrols during the operation. In total, approximately 100 personnel from the four participating departments were involved with Operation NUNAKPUT 2015.


Operation NUNAKPUT 2014

Over the course of mid-June to mid-July, Operation NUNAKPUT 2014 saw members from 1 Canadian Ranger Patrol Group, 440 (transport) Squadron, and Joint Task Force North, as well as other governmental partners conducting joint training, surveillance and presence patrols along the Mackenzie River.


Operation NUNAKPUT 2013

During NUNAKPUT 2013 (mid-June to mid-July 2013), approximately 60 CAF members conducted joint inter-agency exercises, as well as surveillance and presence patrols of the Great Slave Lake, the Mackenzie River and the Beaufort Sea to increase situational awareness and promote interoperability.


Operation NUNAKPUT 2012

NUNAKPUT 2012 (July 2012) took place in the region of the Mackenzie River, Great Slave Lake and the Beaufort Sea. A detachment of about 20 Canadian Rangers partnered with RCMP personnel and Fisheries Officers to patrols on land and by boat along the Mackenzie River and in the coastal waters of the Beaufort Sea, while Joint Task Force North Headquarters provided equipment and logistics support, and liaised with civilian leadership in the territorial government and at community level.


Operation NUNAKPUT 2011

In NUNAKPUT 2011 (July 2 to August 18, 2011), about 20 Canadian Armed Forces personnel conducted boat patrols on the Mackenzie River and the in-shore waters of the Beaufort Sea in support of the RCMP and DFO.


Operation NUNAKPUT 2010

NUNAKPUT 2010 (June 1 to September 17, 2010) focussed on air surveillance of the Mackenzie River and Beaufort Sea by 440 Squadron out of Yellowknife, and boat patrols on the Mackenzie River by the Canadian Rangers in support of the RCMP and DFO. The Canadian Rangers also participated in a ground search-and-rescue exercise led by the RCMP in the delta of the Mackenzie River.


Operation NUNAKPUT 2009

In NUNAKPUT 2009 (July 13 to September 21, 2009), 440 Squadron flew surveillance missions over the Mackenzie River and the Beaufort Sea while the Canadian Rangers conducted boat patrols, all in support of the RCMP, DFO and the Coast Guard.


Operation NUNAKPUT 2008

NUNAKPUT 2008 involved aerial and maritime surveillance by the Canadian Armed Forces in close coordination with the RCMP along the Mackenzie River and the Canadian Coast Guard in the Beaufort Sea.


Operation NUNAKPUT 2007

NUNAKPUT 2007 was a joint, inter-agency sovereignty operation in which Canadian Army and Royal Canadian Air Force personnel and resources supported the RCMP in activities designed to enhance operational capabilities in the western Arctic.

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