Canadian cross-service exercise Nunakput 2016 concludes

Canadian maritime-focused operation Nunakput 2016 ends today in Fort Simpson, Northwest Territories after two weeks of maritime patrols and training opportunities that began on July 5.

The patrols and training centred around members of 1st Canadian Ranger Patrol Group, as well as search and rescue (SAR) exercises that involved Canadian Armed Forces members, various governmental departments and a civilian search and rescue organization.

The importance of this training was validated during Operation Nunakput 2016 when real life incidents involving two separate searches for lost boaters occurred near Lutsel K’e, about 200 kilometres east of Yellowknife.

The combined efforts of the RCMP, assisted by RCAF aircraft and crews including a CC-130 Hercules from Winnipeg and a CC-138 Twin Otter from Yellowknife, resulted in the location and successful rescue of the boaters. The SAR training conducted during this year’s Op Nunakput ensures that the CAF and partners maintain the ability to respond to events such as this, enhancing the safety and security of all Canadians in the north.

Participants during this year’s operation include members of the Canadian Rangers; the Canadian Army; the Royal Canadian Navy; the Royal Canadian Air Force, including Yellowknife-based 440 (Transport) Squadron; the Royal Canadian Mounted Police; Department of Fisheries and Oceans; the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary (Yellowknife Unit); Parks Canada; Department of the Environment and Climate Change; and the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association.

Operation Nunakput is an annual sovereignty operation with a marine focus, traditionally conducted along the Mackenzie River in conjunction with several federal government departments and other supporting agencies. This year, Operation Nunakput focused on the South Mackenzie River and Great Slave Lake regions.

Brigadier-General Mike Nixon, Commanding Officer, Joint Task Force (North) said: “I am extremely impressed by how our soldiers, sailors, and airmen and airwomen are able to efficiently and effectively operate in tandem with other government departments during scenarios like those conducted throughout operation Nunakput 2016.”

“The real life search and rescue incidents that ended successfully on Great Slave Lake during this year’s operation highlight the value of practicing these skills and exchanging knowledge between organizations, enhancing the safety and security of people living in the North.”