Iqaluit, Nunavut, 26 August 2014
On the final day of this year’s Northern Tour, Prime Minister Stephen Harper participated in Operation NANOOK, an annual Canadian Armed Forces-led sovereignty exercise held in Canada’s North.
Prime Minister Harper spent the day at Iqaluit and York Sound, Nunavut, engaging military personnel working closely with their northern partners from the Canadian Coast Guard, the RCMP and other government departments as part of a simulation exercise based on ensuring the safety and security of a grounded cruise ship’s passengers and crew.
Led by Canadian Joint Operations Command, Operation NANOOK 14 is a combined, joint, and interagency operation involving the Canadian Army, the Canadian Rangers, the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Royal Canadian Navy, working with other federal, territorial and regional government and international partners, to provide an emergency response to a request for assistance from the Government of Nunavut.
- On August 26, Prime Minister Harper participated in a joint and coordinated response to a simulated emergency situation in which a cruise ship was grounded in York Sound, Nunavut. The initial response was made by the Government of Nunavut, which then requested assistance from the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and other government departments.
- The NANOOK series of operations allow the CAF to exercise their primary domestic duties: safeguarding the nation, deterring threats to national security, and responding to emergencies anywhere in the country. They also help the Canadian military develop and maintain strong relationships with local authorities, Aboriginal peoples and international partners, and make use of the unique expertise and geographic presence of the Canadian Rangers.
- Operation NANOOK 14 is centered on two scenario-driven events in Canada’s far North. The first involves the deployment of maritime and air forces on a search and rescue mission in Davis Strait, off the coast of Baffin Island, Nunavut. The second involves the deployment of land, sea, and air forces to York Sound, in Frobisher Bay, Baffin Island, in response to the grounding of a cruise ship.
- Demonstrating Arctic sovereignty is one of the pillars of Canada’s Northern Strategy.
- More than 800 personnel from the CAF, other government departments and international partners are taking part in Operation NANOOK 14 from August 20 to 29, 2014.
- Operation NANOOK 14 builds upon previous iterations of Operation NANOOK, conducted every summer since 2007, primarily in the eastern and high Arctic.
“Canada’s North is vital to the future of our country and we will continue to take the necessary measures to strengthen our ability to operate in this region. Every year, Operation NANOOK demonstrates the outstanding abilities of the Canadian Armed Forces and other Government departments to work together to promote Canada’s sovereignty in our challenging Northern environment.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper
“It is truly inspiring to see so many skilled Canadians from across the country working together to ensure our nation is prepared for any possible emergency or security threat in the North.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper