Operation NUNALIVUT 2018 wraps up in the High Arctic

CAF members unload a plane on ice.
Members of 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (2 PPCLI), 2 Combat Engineer Regiment (2 CER) and Fleet Diving Unit Atlantic unload the Twin Otter aircraft at the austere camp during Operation NUNALIVUT 2018. Photo: Leading Seaman Valerie LeClair

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About 350 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members took part in Operation NUNALIVUT 2018. The annual sovereignty operation in the High Arctic took place this year in Resolute Bay and Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, from February 23 to March 21, 2018.

Op NUNALIVUT began in 2007 to demonstrate the CAF’s ability to operate in the harsh winter environment common to the remote areas of Canada’s North, and to enhance the CAF’s capability to respond to a variety of situations in the High Arctic.

Commanded by Joint Task Force (North), Task Force NUNALIVUT comprises regular and reserve forces personnel from the Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Army, and the Royal Canadian Air Force.

“Operation NUNALIVUT 2018 is more than winter warfare training. It is a unique opportunity for deployed members to conduct sovereignty patrols, ice diving activities and support the scientific community,” said Brigadier-General Mike Nixon, Commander, Joint Task Force (North).

On the ground, 2nd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, the Arctic Response Company Group from 38 Canadian Brigade Group and the 1st Canadian Ranger Patrol Group conducted Arctic survival training and sovereignty patrols.

Under the ice, members from the Royal Canadian Navy’s Fleet Diving Unit Atlantic, Canadian Army combat divers from across Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Dive Unit, and the Canadian Coast Guard divers conducted ice diving operations in Cambridge Bay, NU with various international partners observing the activity.

In the air, the CC-177 Globemaster and CC-130J Hercules transported troops, supplies, and equipment to Resolute Bay and Cambridge Bay. In addition, CC-138 Twin Otters deployed to both locations to provide local air transport.

As outlined in Strong, Secure, Engaged, Canada’s defence policy, operations such as NUNALIVUT enhance the CAF’ ability to adapt to a changing security environment. These operations provide opportunities to work collaboratively with other government departments and agencies, as well as local and territorial governments and Indigenous associations. Through Task Force NUNALIVUT, the CAF are also directly contributing to building collective capacity to operate in the Arctic environment.

Image gallery

  • Task Force members discuss the process of local ground search and rescue during Operation NUNALIVUT 2018.
  • CAF members unload a plane on ice.
  • Preparation for an ice dive during Operation NUNALIVUT 2018
  • CAF members and snowmobiles during Op NUNALIVUT 2018
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