Arctic Security: Canadian Armed Forces Exercise Alongside U.S. Allies

News release

February 28, 2022 – Anchorage, United States – National Defence/Canadian Armed Forces

In February and March 2022, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) is participating in several recurring joint Arctic exercises alongside the United States (U.S.) military in Alaska and other locations across North America to enhance the ability of our military organizations to operate effectively together. Arctic exercises strengthen situational awareness, information sharing and operational capabilities in the Arctic.

The CAF is taking part in:

  • Exercise ARCTIC EDGE, led by U.S. Alaskan Command and supported by U.S. Northern Command;
  • Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Center (JPMRC), led by the U.S. Army in Alaska;
  • Exercise ARCTIC EAGLE-PATRIOT, led by the Alaska National Guard; and
  • ICE EXERCISE (ICEX), led by the U.S. Navy.

In addition to these exercises, Arctic activities in February and March 2022 also include Operation NANOOK-NUNALIVUT that concludes on February 28, 2022, and North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD)’s Operation NOBLE DEFENDER taking place on March 16, 2022 in Alaska, northern Canada, and off the coast of Greenland. The CAF continues to make progress in the implementation of Canada’s defence policy – Strong, Secure, Engaged by increasing presence in the Arctic over the long-term and working cooperatively with Arctic and non-Arctic partners.

Our armed forces maintain a year-round presence in the Arctic through a host of Canadian navy, army, and air force joint domestic and international operations, exercises, and training activities. A stable, rules-based order in the Arctic benefits all Arctic community nations and peoples by facilitating economic development, fostering regional cooperation on shared challenges, and ensuring a stable, conflict-free Arctic. Canada’s priority is to maintain the Arctic as a zone of global cooperation and to ensure that the rules-based international order is preserved.

Quotes

“The Canadian Armed Forces is a key partner in Arctic safety, security, and defence matters. Through our 24/7 involvement in NORAD operations and by participating in exercises such as Exercise ARCTIC EDGE 2022, our armed forces remain interoperable with U.S. forces in the Arctic. Our troops support the Canadian government’s intent to keep the Arctic a secure and stable place in which national security interests are safeguarded.”

—   Lieutenant-colonel Jill Lutz, Commanding Officer Canadian Detachment, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, United States

“Our aviators will hone their skills within complex and dynamic exercise scenarios to gain and enhance cold weather operational experience, while validating our abilities to integrate with our close ally and NORAD partner.”

—   Major-General Eric Kenny, Commander 1 Canadian Air Division / Canadian NORAD Region / Joint Forces Air Component

Quick facts

  • The CAF are deploying more than 400 personnel, snowmobiles, Royal Canadian Air Force aircraft, a newly acquired air defence medium range radar, and a Royal Canadian Navy Maritime Coastal Defence Vessel - Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship Brandon - in Alaska to exercise long-planned joint Arctic defence capabilities with our allies. The deployed aircraft include two CC-130J Hercules, two CH-147 Chinook and four CH-146 Griffon helicopters, and two CC-138 Twin Otter.

  • Biennial Exercise ARCTIC EDGE refines the planning and execution of joint defence missions and fosters interoperability and the sharing of cold weather warfare expertise in the Arctic. It also supports a program of Arctic warfare-related experimentation. The CAF and Defence Research and Development Canada participate in this exercise in Alaska and in various locations across North America between February 28 and March 17, 2022.

  • Regularly scheduled JOINT PACIFIC MULTINATIONAL READINESS CENTER (JPMRC) exercise focuses on operations in cold weather with the U.S. Army units in Alaska and runs from March 14-23, 2022, around the Donnelly Training Area in Alaska. JPMRC strengthens the lines of communication between Alaskan units and our forces.

  • Regularly scheduled Exercise ARCTIC EAGLE-PATRIOT involves the response to a natural disaster with small task Arctic warfare events and runs from February 23 to March 2, 2022, in Alaska. The CAF is exercising Light Urban Search and Rescue capabilities and Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear defence capabilities during this exercise.

  • ICE EXERCISE (ICEX) is a submarine under/through the ice operation this winter in Alaska. ICEX 2022 is the 98th iteration of this exercise. The Royal Canadian Air Force is assisting the U.S. Navy with the construction of a temporary ice camp by providing two CC-138 Twin Otter to transport supplies and personnel into and out of austere locations on sea ice.

Associated links

Contacts

Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone:  613-904-3333
Email: mlo-blm@forces.gc.ca

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