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Canadian army

Reservists head north for ‘surveillance activities’ in the Arctic

Throughout the exercise, soldiers will demonstrate arctic survival skills in a harsh climate, including the maintenance and use of specialized vehicles and communications equipment.

PRESS RELEASE
CANADIAN ARMED FORCES
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Approximately 200 soldiers from local Canadian Army Reserve units deployed from CFB Trenton on August 15 to the Canadian Arctic. Troops from several communities in southwestern Ontario and led by those in Barrie will form the ground component of Operation NANOOK-NUNAKPUT 22 (Op NA-NK 22), a series of presence and surveillance activities on along the Northwest Passage, which will build on the Armed Forces (CAF) Capability to Operate in the Arctic while promoting greater interoperability with northern partners.

Op NA-NK 22 will take place from August 15-29 and will see the deployment of a joint task force led by the Gray and Simcoe Foresters (G&SF) from Barrie and Owen Sound, Ontario. Members of the Canadian Army and Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) will operate out of Cambridge Bay, Nvt., and will be supported by Canadian Army Rangers from the 1st Canadian Ranger Patrol Group (1RCPG). The Joint Task Force will be headquartered at the Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS).

Approximately 200 personnel arrived on August 15, and approximately 100 will form a land component, consisting primarily of Canadian Army Reserve soldiers from 31 Canadian Brigade Group (31 CBG) in southwestern Ontario and supported by the 1RPRC. These troops will deploy further into outlying areas via RCAF aircraft, providing the Fourth Canadian Division Arctic Response Company Group (ARCG) as the main ground force for the operation.

The ARCG is a specialist sub-unit that maintains an ability to command, move and communicate in severe weather conditions in remote locations and is the mission task of the G&SF. It is reinforced by soldiers from across 31 CBG, headquartered in London, Ontario.

Op NA-NK 22 will fulfill several pillars of Canada’s defense policy – strong, secure and engaged – to strengthen the Canadian Armed Forces presence in the region by demonstrating mobility, reach and footprint. These capabilities are necessary to ensure Canada’s sovereignty in the region and to better meet the needs of people residing in Arctic and northern communities for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, as required.

Participants and CAF leaders will also engage local community leaders and citizen groups to enhance emergency preparedness and foster the lines of communication needed to respond to crises in isolated communities. Local northern experts from 1CRPG will also support this effort to strengthen partnerships in the region and help ensure preparedness to respond to various contingencies.

Throughout the exercise, soldiers will demonstrate arctic survival skills in a harsh climate, including the maintenance and use of specialized vehicles and communications equipment, the use of survival equipment and conducting patrols in austere environments. They will adhere to local public health guidelines while applying strict Force health safeguards.

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Rodney N.

The author Rodney N.