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Operation NANOOK 2023 Successfully Concluded in Canada’s Arctic



Image: Joint Task Force members observe the northern lights during Operation NANOOK-NUNALIVUT in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut on March 15, 2023. Credit: Corporal Antoine Brochu, Assistant Deputy Minister (Public Affairs), Canadian Armed Forces

Operation NANOOK 2023’s two summer serials demonstrating the Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF) abilities to deploy forces and conduct exercises with our Allies and international and Whole of Government partners in the Arctic, concluded on Saturday, September 9.

Elements of the Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Air Force, and Canadian Special Operations Forces Command were represented in NANOOK 2023. Members of Canadian and U.S. Special Operations Forces were embarked in HMCS Harry DeWolf to exercise their ability to conduct joint and integrated operations in the complex and challenging Arctic environment.

Leading the summer land-based operation, the Canadian Army deployed approximately 100 soldiers from 2nd Canadian Division, supported by the 1st Canadian Ranger Patrol Group.

The land task force deployment to Inuvik and Tuktoyatuk, Northwest Territories enabled land forces to conduct presence and surveillance operations in that region.

The Royal Canadian Air Force contributed multiple aircrafts including a CP-140 Aurora long-range patrol aircraft, CH-138 Twin Otters and a CH-147 Chinook helicopter to support multiple portions of the operation.

The U.S. Navy’s participation in the maritime component this year included for the first time the Los Angeles-class submarine USS San Juan (SSN 751) and Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (UUV) Flotilla 1 (UUVFLOT 1), which uses UUVs to provide subsea warfare capabilities. Additionally, the USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79), as well as U.S. naval maritime patrol squadrons VP-10 Red Lancers and VP-45 Pelicans, participated in this year’s exercise.

Ships from the U.S. Coast Guard, French Navy and Royal Danish Navy also participated in the training.

As part of the operation, the USS San Juan, with four members of the Royal Canadian Navy aboard, navigated the Northwest Passage. This allowed for the practice of anti-submarine warfare and all domain awareness, as the USS San Juan was tracked by air, land, and sea assets along the route.

“The Arctic’s vast and unforgiving landscape, combined with its strategic importance, demands that we work together with our allies to safeguard this emerging region of global competition. Op NANOOK is the centerpiece of our joint, combined, and multi-departmental exercises to master operations in the north. This exercise demonstrates our commitment to Arctic security and strengthens our contribution to Arctic defence.” Vice-Admiral Bob Auchterlonie, Commander Canadian Joint Operations Command

“Operation NANOOK is the Canadian Armed Forces signature northern operation, that includes comprehensive joint, interagency and multinational exercises. This work continues to expand and enhance our capabilities in a complex, challenging, and evolving environment. We welcome the participation of our allies in working with us to hone and advance our collective skills in contribution to continental defense.” Rear-Admiral Josée Kurtz, Commander Maritime Forces Atlantic

“Operating and training with the Canadian Armed Forces and the United States Coast Guard in the Arctic allows us to meet the demands of an increasingly accessible operating environment. The tri-party relationship is critical to regional security and homeland defence… together we will continue to ensure a safe and secure Arctic.” Vice Adm. Daniel Dwyer, Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet

“We value the opportunity to work together with Allies and partners in the Arctic on exercises like Operation NANOOK. As a Canadian, I have the privilege of working within a U.S. numbered fleet and am confident that, collectively, we have the resources and the will required to provide security and defense of North America– we are truly stronger together.” Rear Adm. David Patchell, Vice Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet



• Operation NANOOK is the Canadian Armed Forces’ signature Arctic operation comprised of four comprehensive annual activities designed to exercise the defence of Canada and to secure our northern regions.

• The four annual exercises each have distinctive times, objectives, and locations.

• Operation NANOOK takes place each year across Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Labrador.

• The 2023 summer serials included: 1) Operation NANOOK–TUUGAALIK: the maritime component that took place from August 8 to 25. Portions of Op NANOOK-TUUGAALIK will continue until September 29 as HMCS Harry DeWolf continues maritime presence patrols in the region. 2) Operation NANOOK–NUNAKPUT: the primary land component that took place from August 27 to September 9.

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