Canadian Armed Forces successfully conclude Operation Nunalivut 2017

Captain Thomas Doelman (left), Major Anders Muckosky, Corporal Jason MacKenzie, and Captain Dale Maedel, members of 440 (Transport) Squadron from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, located stranded residents from Hall Beach, Nunavut, on February 24, 2017, during Operation Nunalivut. PHOTO: Petty Officer, Second Class Belinda Groves, YK-2017-013-001


News Article / March 10, 2017

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) successfully concluded Operation Nunalivut 2017 on March 10, 2017, after two weeks of surveillance and control operations near Hall Beach and Resolute Bay, Nunavut.

Notably, while conducting training, a CC-138 Twin Otter aircraft crew rescued two hunters who were stranded near Hall Beach. This initiated an actual ground search and rescue effort by Royal Canadian Mounted Police personnel and local groups, supported by 440 Transport Squadron crew members, for a third missing hunter. These combined efforts resulted in the successful rescue of all three hunters, demonstrating the importance of the type of training conducted during Operation Nunalivut.

“The unforgiving winter in the High Arctic was a challenge to all members who deployed on Operation Nunalivut 2017,” said Brigadier-General Mike Nixon, Commander, Joint Task Force (North). “I am extremely proud to see the exceptional skills, capabilities, and cooperation that each member demonstrated during the operation. This dynamic northern operation taught many of our soldiers how to survive in the harshest climate in Canada.”

More than 200 CAF members, including members of 1st Canadian Ranger Patrol Group, participated in the operation with personnel from other government departments and agencies, focusing on long-range patrols, diving operations, and survival training in the High Arctic.

Operation Nunalivut demonstrates the CAF’s capability and preparedness to respond to a variety of situations in northern Canada, and to operate in remote areas.

Quick Facts

Initiated in 2007, Operation Nunalivut is an annual operation in the High Arctic designed to provide an opportunity for the CAF to operate in the northernmost regions of Canada, to demonstrate members’ ability to operate in the harsh winter environment in remote areas, and to enhance the CAF’s capability to respond to a variety of situations in northern Canada.

In the air: CC-177 Globemaster and CC-130J Hercules aircraft transported personnel, supplies, and equipment to Hall Beach from Yellowknife, Yukon, and the city of Québec, Québec. The Globemaster also transported the Fleet Diving Unit from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Resolute Bay, Nunavut. As well, CC-138 Twin Otter aircraft from 440 (Transport) Squadron based in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, provided tactical airlift and search and rescue support to members of Task Force Nunalivut.

On the ground: The 1st Canadian Ranger Patrol Group, 12e Régiment blindé du Canada, 5e Bataillon des services du Canada, and 34 and 35 Canadian Brigade Groups conducted Arctic survival training, and surveillance and control operations, in Canada’s North. Patrols of the Hall Beach and Igloolik areas included constructing improvised shelters and igloos, conducting austere firing ranges, establishing austere landing strips, and practising Arctic survival techniques with the Canadian Rangers.

In the water: Divers from the Royal Canadian Navy’s Fleet Diving Unit Atlantic, along with CAF combat divers from throughout Canada, and Royal Canadian Mounted Police divers, conducted ice diving operations in Resolute Bay. Dive efforts focused primarily on enhancing arctic diving capabilities, and strengthening our partnership through joint diving operations. Operation Nunalivut 2017 helped establish and refine procedures to enable better interoperability in future underwater endeavours.

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