March 2020 - Operation NANOOK

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  • Operation NANOOK takes place each year across Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon. Up to five deployments are featured throughout the year. The operation involves Indigenous, federal, provincial, and territorial governments, and northern partners.
  • Through Operation NANOOK, the Canadian Armed Forces guards Canada’s sovereignty over its northernmost regions.
  • Operation NANOOK also improves the way the Canadian Armed Forces operates in Arctic conditions, improves coordination among participants, and works with mission partners to best respond to safety and security issues.


  • In 2018, four activities were conducted under Operation NANOOK: a series of activities along the Northwest Passage; a maritime domain defence and security exercise in Northern Labrador, Nunavut and Greenland areas; a major air disaster exercise in Yellowknife NWT; and emergency/disaster response training in and around Yellowknife and Behchokǫ̀, NWT.
  • Operation NANOOK consists of the following:
    • READY SOTERIA – Canadian Armed Forces exercise in response to a Major Air Disaster scenario;
    • NANOOK NUNAKPUT – integrates regional other government departments and agencies in the series of patrols supported by the Canadian Army (CA) Rangers;
    • NANOOK TATIGIT – engages with the Northwest Territories regional other government departments and agencies in the conduct of safety and security activities; and
    • NANOOK NUNALIVUT – integrates multinational partners in a combined-joint land domain defence and security exercise in the High Arctic.
  • Planning is ongoing for Operation NANOOK 2020, which will likely include the following activities:
    • NANOOK NUNAKPUT 20 – which will focus on domain presence and awareness in the Northwest Passage;
    • NANOOK TATIGIIT 20 – a whole-of-government activity that will focus on major maritime disaster response; and
    • NANOOK NUNALIVUT 20 – which will hone and demonstrate the abilities of the Canadian Armed Forces to operate in the High Arctic.


  • As part of Canada’s defence policy, Strong Secure Engaged, Operation NANOOK is a key activity to increase presence in the Arctic over the long-term and work cooperatively with Arctic partners.
  • The number of people deployed on Operation NANOOK varies from year to year, based on planned activities and exercises.
  • During Operation NANOOK, the Canadian Armed Forces work and train with a variety of partners, including international military partners and other Canadian federal departments and agencies, territorial and Indigenous governments, and local organizations.
  • Major annual Northern operations are key to the continuing ability of the Canadian Armed Forces to operate in the harsh Arctic environment. In addition to these major operations, regular cold-weather exercises are important to maintaining the survival skills necessary to operate in the Arctic region.

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