Op Nanook: Working with our Arctic Partners

News Article / October 6, 2020

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By Captain Vicki Connors

Operation Nanook is a Northern Sovereignty operation that features up to five annual Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Arctic deployments. Nanook gives the CAF the opportunity to train with a variety of organizations every year, including international military partners, other government departments and Canadian agencies, and territorial and Indigenous governments.

August 2020 was busy; it saw five warships, a replenishment vessel, and a US Coast Guard cutter participate in a naval exercise that tested their basic war-fighting skills and their ability to operate together in the harsh northern environment. Working alongside Canada were Denmark, France, and the United States.

The RCAF’s 404 and 405 Squadrons, from 14 Wing Greenwood, Nova Scotia, had the opportunity to participate in a scenario of anti-submarine warfare/anti-surface warfare. The CP-140 Aurora crews were employed in a number of different ways, including submarine tracking, providing over-the-horizon targeting, and performing battle damage assessments, all while providing the surface fleet with a comprehensive understanding of the battle space. This important function enhanced the fleet’s situational awareness and enabled improved decision-making at all levels of command.

Normally, the CP-140 and crew would deploy to a location closer to the fleet—close to other nations’ air assets—but the Aurora demonstrated its flexibility and reach by operating out of 14 Wing throughout the operation. This dynamic made for some long days, but the cooperation and teamwork among our crews led to a high level of engagement and mission success.

Every opportunity to work with Allied nations and our own Canadian Arctic partners provides the RCAF and 14 Wing Greenwood with valuable experience and the opportunity to learn from one another.

Captain Vicki Connors serves as 405 Squadron’s Unit Public Affairs Representative.

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