A three-week operation in Canada’s High Arctic comes to an end today as 230 CAF personnel completed Operation NUNALIVUT 2016 (Op NU 16).
The exercise took place around Alert and Resolute Bay, Nunavut between April 1 and 22, in an effort to provide the CAF an opportunity to exercise Canada’s sovereignty in the north, and improve on its ability to operate in the harsh winter environment of the High Arctic’s remote regions. It also allowed the CAF to prepare to respond to any situation in Canada’s North and demonstrate its interoperability with allies. Other countries part of Op NU 16 include the U.S. Air National Guard 109th Airlift Wing, from New York, and personnel from the Danish Sirius Patrol.
“It has been a once in a lifetime opportunity for me to command Operation NUNALIVUT 2016. I am extremely proud of the exceptional skills and capabilities that our sailors, soldiers, airmen, and airwomen have demonstrated in this unique and challenging environment. I feel privileged that I was able to be a part of this operation and to know that we have contributed to maintaining Canadian sovereignty in the High Arctic,” said LCol. Timothy Halfkenny, Commanding Officer, Task Force NUNALIVUT 2016.
In addition, the operation allowed for CAF personnel to provide support to scientific research in the Arctic. Defence scientists and technicians from Defence Research and Development Canada conducted successful trials on prototype vehicles and received positive feedback from the deployed personnel about the vehicles’ ability to operate in extreme conditions.
The operation consisted of Clearance and Port Inspection Divers, from the Royal Canadian Navy’s Fleet Diving Unit (Atlantic), who conducted fresh- and salt-water dives beneath thick, multi-year Arctic ice near CFS Alert.
Simultaneously, soldiers from 2nd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment, and the 4th Canadian Division Arctic Response Company Group, aided by Canadian Rangers from 1 Canadian Ranger Patrol Group, established a base camp on Little Cornwallis Island and conducted long-range patrols in the high Arctic.
Op NU 16 was supported by the Canadian Forces Joint Operational Support Group and airmen and airwomen from across the Royal Canadian Air Force, including Yellowknife-based 440 (Transport) Squadron.
Featured image: courtesy of Images Forces;
Members of the Task Force prepare to advance back to Resolute Bay after a ten day deployment on Little Cornwallis Island, NU, during Operation NUNALIVUT April 16, 2016. Photo: Cpl Parks, Task Force Imagery Technician GX2016-211-0002