Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Around the Arctic August 09, 2016 - 4:00 pm

Troops arrive in Rankin Inlet Aug. 9 to start Operation Nanook 2016

Simulated combat activities planned Aug. 18 to Aug. 29 in Kivalliq region of Nunavut

NUNATSIAQ NEWS
A soldier on an ATV participates in an Operation Nanook exercise near Resolute Bay in 2013. Canadian Armed Forces personnel will start arriving in Rankin Inlet Aug. 9 for the 2016 version of the annual Arctic military exercise. (PHOTO BY CPL. DAN STROHAN, 8 WING IMAGING TRENTON)
A soldier on an ATV participates in an Operation Nanook exercise near Resolute Bay in 2013. Canadian Armed Forces personnel will start arriving in Rankin Inlet Aug. 9 for the 2016 version of the annual Arctic military exercise. (PHOTO BY CPL. DAN STROHAN, 8 WING IMAGING TRENTON)

If you’re planning to go out on the land near the Nunavut communities of Rankin Inlet or Chesterfield Inlet later this month, be prepared to encounter warring soldiers, helicopters, all-terrain-vehicles, Twin Otters and Royal Canadian Navy vessels.

That’s because the Nunavut portion of Operation Nanook 2016, which will involve simulated combat exercises between Aug. 18 and Aug. 29, is set to start soon, with equipment and personnel expected to arrive Aug. 9 in Rankin Inlet.

“Residents may notice an increase in military air and ground traffic in the region as Canadian Armed Forces personnel and equipment are transported to various locations beginning Aug. 9, 2016 until the end of the operation,” the Canadian Forces said Aug. 8 in a public service announcement.

“Every effort will be made to minimize disruption to local residents.”

Another segment of Operation Nanook will take place around Haines Junction, Yukon, between Aug. 15 and Aug. 26, when about 250 personnel will conduct a mock emergency response exercise.

In that exercise, the armed forces and other agencies will practice a response to a simulated earthquake.

In the Kivalliq region, the forces will conduct simulated ground combat exercises near Rankin Inlet and also potentially in an area north of Chesterfield Inlet, a Nunavut Impact Review Board’s screening decision said.

The armed forces have permission to do the exercise in a 55 square-kilometre area adjacent to Rankin Inlet’s municipal boundary and in a 60-square-kilometre area adjacent to Chesterfield Inlet’s municipal boundary.

The NIRB screened the project earlier this year and gave it a green light, subject to a standard list of terms and conditions issued July 22.

Those terms and conditions require that the Canadian Forces remove all garbage, fuel and equipment after they’re finished, and must cease any activities that could disturb caribou or muskox.

The exercise will include a temporary camp for up to 250 people, with tents and generators, to be set up north of Rankin Inlet.

The forces will use Rankin Inlet as their main base. From there, ATVs, helicopters and Twin Otters will transport people and equipment from Rankin Inlet to the exercise site.

They’ll also conduct simulated water combat exercises around Chesterfield Inlet, using Royal Canadian Navy vessels and potentially set up a camp for about 100 people north of the community.

They’re also likely to use the airstrip at Chesterfield Inlet, the NIRB said.

“Subject to the proponent’s compliance with the terms and conditions … the NIRB is of the view that the project proposal is not likely to cause significant public concerns, and it is unlikely to result in significant adverse environmental and social impacts,” the review board said in its screening decision.

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