April 22, 2015
OTTAWA — Operation NUNALIVUT 2015, one of Joint Task Force (North’s) premier High Arctic operations, concluded today after nearly one month of activity in and around the Cambridge Bay, Nunavut area.
Operation NUNVALIVUT 15 once again highlighted Canada’s ability to respond to threats in the north, bringing together Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members from 1 Canadian Ranger Patrol Group (1 CRPG), the Third Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (3 PPCLI), as well as airmen and airwomen from the Royal Canadian Air Force, to conduct sovereignty patrols.
The operation also included joint ice-diving operations by Royal Canadian Navy divers and Parks Canada underwater archeologists beneath the Arctic ice in the vicinity of Victoria Strait, Nunavut. The ice-diving operations were part of an effort to learn more about the fate of Her Majesty’s Ship (HMS) Erebus, one of two ill-fated Franklin Expedition ships lost in 1846.
The Honorable Julian Fantino, Associate Minister of National Defence, visited Op NUNALIVUT 15 and met with CAF personnel who, through their participation in the operation, demonstrated Canada’s readiness and ability to operate in the challenging Arctic environment to counter any threats to Canadian interests in the region.
Commanded by Joint Task Force (North), Operation NUNALIVUT 2015 ran from 1-22 April and involved more than 200 personnel deploying from across Canada.
A temporary camp was built near the site of the North Warning System (NWS) Cambridge Bay site to provide accommodations for military personnel making up the operations and support component of Operation NUNALIVUT 15.
To build the camp, 45 Tonnes of equipment had to be shipped north from Yellowknife and other locations further south.
Operation NUNALIVUT is a sovereignty operation conducted annually since 2007 in Canada’s North, providing an opportunity for the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) to assert Canada’s sovereignty over its northernmost regions, to demonstrate the ability to operate in the harsh winter environment in remote areas of the High Arctic, and to enhance CAF capability to respond to any situation in Canada’s North.
“I had the opportunity to see first-hand Canadian Armed Forces personnel in action in the High Arctic, and was extremely proud of their ability to operate so effectively in such a challenging climate. I want to thank the men and women in uniform, including the Canadian Rangers, for their service, their hospitality during my visit, and their commitment to ensuring Canada’s sovereignty and security in the north.”
The Honourable Julian Fantino, Associate Minister of National Defence
“We have provided support to scientific exploration where Royal Canadian Navy divers and Parks Canada underwater archeologists explored the wreck of the HMS Erebus. We have enabled soldiers from 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Light Infantry to patrol over 500 kilometers of sea ice by providing food and fuel caches as well as ice and weather forecasting expertise. And all of this has been supported by our Canadian Rangers from 1 Canadian Ranger Patrol Group – our watchers of the North. This year’s Operation NUNALIVUT is certainly one we will remember for years to come due to the historical significance of the dive on one of the long lost Franklin Expedition ships.”
Lieutenant-Colonel John St. Dennis, Task Force NUNALIVUT Commanding Officer
Backgrounder: Operation NUNALIVUT
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Capt Bonnie Wilken, Public Affairs
Joint Task Force (North)
Phone: 867-873-0700, ext. 6922
Department of National Defence