Canadian Rangers & Toronto Reservists Conduct Arctic Presence Patrol – Op Nanook ’10

6 10 2010

Resolute Bay, Nunavut — In Canada’s north, the High Arctic environment highlights a whole new set of challenges for the soldiers deployed on Operation NANOOK 10, Canada’s largest sovereignty exercise.

Just a few short weeks ago, there was little but rock and sparse—if any—vegetation on the outskirts of the northern hamlet of Resolute Bay.

Today, a temporary Canadian Forces camp, aptly named Camp Resolute Bay, shares the southern edge of Cornwallis Island. Over 50 tents and a field kitchen now dot the landscape.

48th Highlanders Website

The quartermaster, with stores to support the mission, now occupies part of the airport hangar, and the packed gravel area that serves as the airport’s “tarmac” is busy with planes dropping off troops and equipment.

On this morning, winds blow at an average of 75 kilometres per hour and the rain stings any exposed skin. Private Shayne Hooper of The Grey and Simcoe Foresters in Owen Sound and Corporal Sasha Pryhodko of The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada in Toronto are patrolling the camp on their 12-hour security shift.

“We’re doing internal and external security,” says Cpl Pryhodko. “For internal security, what we’re doing is making sure that everything is safe.” Quick to spot any problems, they promptly report and fix several tents that sustained minor damage during the previous night’s storm.

Local safety hazards
In addition to watching out for safety hazards in the camp, they also sweep the surrounding area. This external security check is to watch for potentially threatening wildlife, such as polar bears and Arctic foxes that may be attracted by the smell of food.

“I’d say one of the greatest challenges is the weather. It’s definitely different. I’m from Toronto, so we haven’t seen any of this type of weather before—the strong winds and the changing climate and, of course, 24 hours of sunlight,” said Cpl Pryhodko.

Op NANOOK is one of three major, sovereignty operations conducted annually by the Canadian Forces (CF) in the Canadian Arctic. Planned and directed by Joint Task Force North (JTFN), the operation highlights interoperability, command and control, and cooperation with interdepartmental and intergovernmental partners in the north.





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