Arctic Comms: US Army Radios Connect with MUOS Satellites Orbiting the Equator

9 12 2013

AN/PRC-155 Manpack radios operating from Alaska and the Arctic Circle made voice and data calls using the Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) waveform and satellite network, according to manufacturer General Dynamics C4 Systems.

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Video: 2 CRPG Johnny Daniel Angnatuk, Quaqtaq, Nunavik

9 12 2013

A video about Johnny Daniel Angnatuk, Master Corporal in the Canadian Rangers Patrol of Quaqtaq, Nunavik and his involvement with the Junior Canadian Rangers.

The aim of the Junior Canadian Rangers Program is to promote traditional cultures and lifestyles, including Ranger skills by offering a variety of structured activities to young people living in remote and isolated communities.

Under the supervision of the Canadian Rangers, these young Canadians (12 to 18) become active and engaged citizens of their local communities.

Production: Captain Francis Arsenault 2nd Canadian Rangers Patrol Group (2 CRPG) Social Media

Canadian Company to Support US Arctic Strategy

2 12 2013

A Canadian company’s bold project to install a high speed fiber optic network across the roof of the world could provide the Defense Department with broadband connections to support its new Arctic strategy unveiled last week

Arctic Fibre of Toronto plans to start construction in May 2014 on its $620 million, 24 terabit network linking London and Tokyo with a route through the Northwest Passage. The network is slated to start operating in January 2016. It will have 100 gigabit spurs to areas of Alaska that have minimal or no communications links, Douglas Cunningham, the company’s president told Nextgov.

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News Update – 15 Nov 12

15 11 2012

The Caporal Kaeble V.C. is the second of nine mid-shore ships being built for the coast guard at the Halifax shipyard at a cost of $198 million. (CBC)

Government to consider arming coast guard vessels

Ministers Shea And Mackay Present the CCGS Caporal Kaeble V.C.

Feds admit surveillance satellite project delayed two years

Nordic Nations Pool Tactical Airlifters Including C-130J

New RCAF head says he can see drones patrolling the Arctic and the coastline, also calls F-35 ‘airplane of the future.’

War games underway in Sweden’s Far North

The world wants Canada’s backyard

“ARCTIC DEFENDERS” Upcoming Film Features Inuit Perspective on Canada’s Sovereignty in the North

31 10 2012


In 1968, John Walker, a sixteen year old, with 35mm camera in hand, boards a ship in Montreal on its way to Resolute Bay, in the High Arctic. It has been his childhood dream to visit the north – his imagination inspired by films and “Eskimo” art brought into his home. What he doesn’t realize is that the global radicalism of 1968 was also the beginning of a re-imagining of the Arctic by a group of radical “Eskimos”.

They began their political movement by challenging the use of the foreign word Eskimo. They were Inuit and they had a dream – the governance of their territory, the creation of Nunavut.

We join Oo Aqpik, a modern Inuk woman, and John Walker, a filmmaker, on a ship heading from Greenland to Resolute Bay. The film unfolds as Oo introduces us to some of the visionary “Defenders” of Nunavut. As she investigates the recent history of her people and searches for answers to Canada’s sovereignty in the north from an Inuit point of view, she unveils some of the darker side of this history, as well as finding hope and inspiration from the generation before her that fought for change.

Check out their website:

CC-138 Twin Otter lands on Dempster Highway

31 10 2012

Very cool video! A CC-138 Twin Otter from 440 (Transport) Squadron lands on the Dempster Highway west of Tsiigehtchic, N.W.T. during Operation NANOOK 2012

24 10 2012

Arctic News Update – 10 Oct 2012

10 10 2012

Clare Kines’s beautiful photo of the CCGS Louis S St Laurent at rest at night in Arctic Bay. Click picture to view original size.

A few Arctic updates as seen at Blog and other sites:

Despite the cold: U.S. military partnerships key to Arctic crisis response. When a cruise ship runs aground in a remote Greenland fjord, is set ablaze and springing leaks, injured passengers must be rescued. The scenario used during SAREX 2012— a multinational exercise held recently in Greenland’s eastern sea – tested military and civilian capabilities for search and rescue missions above the Arctic Circle. Meanwhile, during exercise Northern Eagle, a U.S. Navy destroyer joined Russian and Norwegian vessels in the Barents Seas to prepare for similar rescues, plus anti-piracy operations and joint air defense.

The scientist responsible for preparing Russia’s claim to seabed rights at the top of the world says Canada and his country are both poised to reap staggering economic benefits when a deal on who owns title to what in the northern ocean is finally struck.  “Canada has a wonderful shelf and basin, so of course Canada can get very rich from this,” said Victor Posyolov, deputy director of Russia’s Institute of World Ocean Geology and the head of its Arctic research program.  Poring over maps tracking the evidence that he is amassing for Russia’s claim, Posyolov estimated that his country, with the longest Arctic coastline, would gain rights to about 1.2 million square kilometres of seabed. He reckoned Canada would get about 800,000 square kilometres of sub-surface territory. That would be about twice as much seabed as the other claimants, Denmark and the United States, are likely to get.  “The biggest shelves and basins are in Canadian waters and it will benefit the most. The U.S. and Denmark have modest sectors,” Posyolov said in a room dominated by a circumpolar map that Canada and Russia jointly produced in 1992 ….”

Canada is poised to claim ownership of a vast new expanse of undersea territory beyond its Atlantic and Arctic coasts that’s greater in size than Quebec and equal to about 20 per cent of the country’s surface area, Postmedia News has learned.  The huge seabed land grab has been in the works since 1994, when federal scientists first conducted a “desktop study” of Canada’s potential territorial expansion under a new UN treaty allowing nations to extend their offshore jurisdictions well past the current 200-nautical-mile (370-km) limit of so-called “Exclusive Economic Zones” in coastal waters.  But the UN also set strict criteria for converting underwater tracts of “no man’s land” into a nation’s territorial possessions, including exhaustive geological studies proving these distant stretches of seabed — including potentially massive oil-and-gas deposits — are “natural prolongations” of each applicant country’s continental bedrock.  At the time, experts from the Geological Survey of Canada and Canadian Hydrographic Service estimated that as much as 1.75 million square kilometres of seafloor to the east and north of Canada’s 9.9-million-sq.-km. land mass — initially described as an area “equivalent to the size of the three Prairie provinces” — might eventually be claimed under provisions of the new international accord on continental shelf extensions, a component of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, or UNCLOS ….”

Russia’s most celebrated polar explorer, Artur Chilingarov, wants Russian President Vladimir Putin and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to meet at the North Pole.  “I have mentioned this to President Putin and I will mention it again,” the limber, heavily bearded Hero of Russia and Hero of the Soviet Union said during an interview this week in an office crammed with memorabilia from his many expeditions to the two poles.  “Let’s do it. It would be a symbol of Russian-Canadian friendship in the north.”  Canadians may remember Chilingarov as the explorer who in 2007 planted a titanium replica of the Russian flag at the bottom of the ocean – at the top of the world. It was a dramatic act that caused shock and anger in Ottawa and other northern capitals.  Canadian officials such as then-foreign minister Peter MacKay had taken deep offence at his dramatic underwater showmanship in one of two small Mir deep-sea mini-submarines, “This isn’t the 15th century,” MacKay told CTV at the time. “You can’t go around the world and just plant flags and say, ‘We’re claiming this territory.’ ”  Told that some Canadians still vilified him, Chilingarov, who is a member of the Russian Federation Council, responded with a profound belly laugh.  “I don’t know why Canadians took this so painfully,” he said. “The North Pole is a fixed place and it is for everyone.” ….”

U.S. eyeing the Pacific via Alaska?  “At the center of the U.S. contribution to Pacific defense is the ability to provide strategic depth for our allies. Much of this depends on the contribution of Alaska.  As retired Lt. Gen. Charles Heflebower, former 7th Air Force Commander, put it in a recent interview:  “The ability to surge in force is crucial. When I was there (in South Korea), I calculated that if we could remain viable through the first 20 days of combat, forces could be surged to the area and turn the tide.”  In this sense, Alaska is a crucial asset to any American Pacific strategy.  People don’t realize how strategic Alaska is until you really look at a map and recognize its central role in terms of getting forces into the region ….”

Arctic ice has receded more over the past decade than at any other point in history, with summer ice melts making more areas accessible than ever before. The newly-accessible areas of the Arctic hold huge amounts of oil and gas as well as massive stock of high quality gold, diamond, plutonium and other rare earth minerals. A recent CSIS study found that although some Arctic countries (such as Russia) have claimed to support international cooperation in the Arctic, they have bolstered their military presence in the region. Since the region lacks any coherent framework to address international interests and concerns, it remains a potential flash point for all countries bordering the Arctic or with interests there ….”

2 10 2012

Originally posted on Life in Inuvik, Northwest Territories:

Internet cables snake between tents

The medical tent

Food supplies

Flexible plastic pouches hold drinking water. Easier to roll and ship than tanks.

The Canadian Forces are training outside of Inuvik this summer. By August, 600 people could be involved. The event is called Operation Nanook and the main part is setting up a camp outside Inuvik.

Local businesses have been appreciating the presence of military staff, as they come into the town to buy coffee and snacks.

Operation Nanook will tie into some kind of emergency simulation later this year.

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Cold Weather Considerations

2 10 2012

As most of us know, the weather conditions change drastically throughout Afghanistan in the summer, and winter is no different.

We, as leaders, must remain cognizant of the weather conditions and identify any significant factors that will complicate our mission. Leaders at all levels can identify factors that will leave Soldiers more vulnerable to cold weather injuries. We should recognize and pay special attention to any of the following:

• Soldiers and Civilians with little experience or training in cold weather
• Personnel with previous cold injuries or other substantial injuries
• Individuals who use tobacco products/nicotine
• Any person who skips meals or has poor nutritional habits
• Anyone with a low level of physical activity
• Someone experiencing fatigue or sleep deprivation
• Anyone suffering from recent cold weather injuries or who was previously injured
• Anyone drinking little or no water

As senior leaders, junior leaders and others will look to us for sound guidance and advice. Therefore, we should teach them how to assess the hazards of living and working in cold environments. Some examples of questions we could ask to help prepare for the approaching cold weather include:

• Will Soldiers have adequate shelter and clothing during the mission?
• Is clothing clean, unstained and serviceable?
• Are tents, stoves or other approved heating sources available during the operation?
• How often will meals be consumed?
• Will meals be warm?
• Has the temperature and weather been reviewed for the operation?
• Will Soldiers be working with bare metal or fuel?
• Is the environment wet?
• Will Soldiers use the buddy systems to prevent cold weather injuries?

Once we’ve identified and assessed the cold weather hazards, we can develop controls to mitigate the severity. The more time a unit spends fighting the terrain and its elements, the less time it has to focus on the enemy. Units must take into consideration the effects of arctic weather and its impact on their personnel and equipment. Proper risk management gives the unit conducting arctic operations an excellent means of identifying and mitigating risks. Leaders must use this tool to be successful in any operation, and the arctic environment will usually render a high on the risk assessment matrix. Prior planning for movement over frozen or icy terrain must not be taken lightly. Units must have recovery assets along with a solid medevac plan.

The majority of the movement conducted in the mountainous regions of Afghanistan comes in the form of air insertion. After completing the insertion, the rest will be done on foot, with Soldiers carrying anywhere from 80 to 100 pounds of equipment. During Operation Anaconda, infantry platoons were not acclimated to the high altitude where they were inserted. As a result, some Soldiers experienced shortness of breath, dizziness, decreased physical performance and vomiting. This can increase non-battle casualties, decreasing the effectiveness of weapon systems and creating problems for unit mobility. Soldiers need to ensure they consume the proper amount of water so they don’t become dehydrated and eat at least three cold weather rations. These rations double the calorie intake from a normal Meal, Ready to Eat.

This winter, ensure your Soldiers are prepared. Understanding cold weather and the potential for injuries are key components to overcoming austere conditions and accomplishing the mission.

Original Article by CORY KROLL, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.


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