Canadian Armed Forces sharpen cold weather skills above the Arctic Circle, alongside NATO Allies and partners
Canada’s Operation NANOOK-NUNALIVUT 2019 is wrapping up in northern Canada. Between 17 March and 1 April, around 500 personnel have been testing Arctic survival skills and logistics, including long-range patrols, ice diving, and creating landing strips on the sea ice.
In Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories, Canadian and international ice divers have been practicing their skills, which are crucial for repairing underwater infrastructure, and assisting ships that sink or run aground. Divers from NATO Allies France and Norway took part, as did divers from NATO’s close partners Finland and Sweden. Brigadier-General Patrick Carpentier, Commander of Canada’s Joint Task Force (North) welcomed the international cooperation, saying: “if we can work together and draw on each other’s strengths, it’s a huge win. We have to work with others to secure our homeland, so the importance of alliances is critical.”
Operation NANOOK-NUNALIVUT 2019 also focused on scientific research, including on cold weather injuries, satellite usage for search and rescue, and improving cold weather shelter systems. In Resolute and Crystal City, Nunavut, researchers with the Joint Arctic Experiment have been working on a range of projects, including on energy efficiency and Arctic protective gear, with support from NATO’s Science for Peace and Security programme.
The 1st Canadian Rangers Patrol Group provided support throughout the operation. Based in their home communities in Canada’s northern territories, the vast majority of Canadian Rangers are indigenous to the north. They provide expertise in navigation, survival, and predator control – including against polar bears.
Allies regularly work to improve their ability to operate in cold weather.