Earth Day: Militarizing the Canadian Arctic

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Click to enlarge

“Canadian Armed Forces achieve objectives during high Arctic operation” – without stating the “objective.” The vast ice caps of the Arctic hide an estimated seven per cent of the world’s oil and 33 per cent of its gas reserves. It is both a strategic sea route to bypass the Panama Canal to Asia and the staging area for war against Russia, part of the “emergency preparedness” program of the NATO bloc. The Harper government is developing a network of military sites to stockpile equipment and move troops and gear quickly into the region. The locations of the main hubs are to be Iqaluit, Yellowknife, Resolute Bay and Inuvik. The military hopes to have the sites in place by 2018.

RESOLUTE BAY, NUNAVUT–(Marketwired – April 24, 2013) – Operation Nunalivut 2013, one of the major sovereignty operations conducted every year by the Canadian Armed Forces in the High Arctic, concluded today with a closing ceremony and parade at Task Force Nunalivut Headquarters in Resolute Bay.

This year’s operation took place in the northwestern portion of the Arctic Archipelago, with long-range sovereignty patrols by air, and over land and sea ice. The operation extended from Resolute Bay west to Mould Bay, Northwest Territories, and north to Isachsen, on Ellef Ringnes Island, Nunavut, and Tanquary Fjord, on Ellesmere Island, Nunavut.

“The Canadian Armed Forces successfully achieved their objectives during Operation Nunalivut by exercising Canadian sovereignty in some of the most isolated and challenging areas of Canada,” said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence. “The fact that we can deploy our personnel and equipment to remote areas of the High Arctic and sustain our troops throughout the operation clearly demonstrates the Canadian Armed Forces’ capability projection skills.”

The Canadian Rangers, experts in living and operating in this area, conducted sovereignty patrols between Resolute Bay and Isachsen, Nunavut, as well as in Griffon Inlet and Gascoyne Inlet on Devon Island. These patrols enabled the Canadian Armed Forces to increase their collective knowledge of, and experience in, the challenging High Arctic environment.

The Royal Canadian Air Force’s CC-138 Twin Otters supported the sovereignty operation by providing tactical airlift and resupply to Canadian Ranger patrols on the sea ice. The CC-138 Twin Otters also provided a platform for surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

“The unique knowledge and skills of the Canadian Rangers to operate in this austere environment and the ski-landing capability of the Royal Canadian Air Force CC-138 Twin Otter were both integral to the success of this operation,” said Brigadier-General Guy Hamel, Commander of Joint Task Force (North). “Operation Nunalivut 2013 provided the perfect opportunity to enhance the capabilities that will allow Joint Task Force (North) to respond to any safety and security challenge in the High Arctic.”

Note to Editors:

Photos of Operation Nunalivut are available online at http://www.combatcamera.forces.gc.ca.

For more information, please contact Captain Sandra Levesque, Joint Task Force (North) Public Affairs Officer, at 867-873-0700 ext 6043 or sandra.levesque2@forces.gc.ca.

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