Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut August 21, 2014 - 3:01 pm

Canadian Forces invite Iqalummiut to Op Nanook community day

Military meet-and-greet includes ship tours, paratrooper show

PETER VARGA
A Canadian Forces’ CH-146 Griffon helicopter will drop in to Iqaluit’s city centre Aug. 23, for a community day the military is hosting in connection with Operation Nanook 2014. (PHOTO COURTESY OF ROYAL CANADIAN AIR FORCE)
A Canadian Forces’ CH-146 Griffon helicopter will drop in to Iqaluit’s city centre Aug. 23, for a community day the military is hosting in connection with Operation Nanook 2014. (PHOTO COURTESY OF ROYAL CANADIAN AIR FORCE)
The Sky Hawks parachute team will drop in on Iqaluit Aug. 23 during a special “community day” event, hosted by the military during Operation Nanook 2014. (PHOTO COURTESY OF CANADIAN ARMY)
The Sky Hawks parachute team will drop in on Iqaluit Aug. 23 during a special “community day” event, hosted by the military during Operation Nanook 2014. (PHOTO COURTESY OF CANADIAN ARMY)

Iqaluit residents will get a chance to see some of the hardware involved in Operation Nanook Aug. 23, when Canadian Forces hold a community day in the city centre.

The day-long event takes place during the annual Arctic exercise, which involves two scenarios this year.

Aug. 23 will mark the day when the first scenario wraps up and the second — which takes place in Frobisher Bay and Iqaluit — gears up for three days of activity, Aug. 25 to Aug. 29.

“It’s our way of showing the community what we’re all about,” said Maj. Pierre Maillet, commander of Joint Task Force North’s Iqaluit detachment. “We’re hoping a lot of the community can come out and attend.”

Canadian Forces, together with the RCMP and the city’s emergency services department, who are also involved in Operation Nanook, will host the event on the Nakasuk School grounds.

One of the military’s CH-146 Griffon helicopters will touch down early in the morning, and take its place as the highlight display, alongside a fire truck and other emergency vehicles, Maillet said.

The Canadian military’s lead commander in the North, Brig-Gen. Greg Loos, will kick off the day’s activities at 10:30 a.m., with an opening address.

Forces members will put on a barbecue at lunchtime, offering hamburgers and hotdogs at the sight.

Displays will also feature some weaponry from the Canadian naval vessel HMCS Shawinigan, Maillet said.

You’ll also have a chance to have a close look at the vessel itself, which will be anchored just outside of Koojesse Inlet – and ready to take on visitors.

Naval personnel will offer tours of the 970-tonne “coastal defense vessel” all afternoon, Maillet said. The ship’s two “rigid-hulled inflatable boats,” will motor from ship to shore, offering the full experience of military transport.

Weather permitting, Canadian Forces Sky Hawks parachute team will put on a show of aerial acrobatics over the city.

“They can theoretically land on a dime,” Maillet said.

Half of the 12-member team will visit Iqaluit from their base in Trenton, Ont., and jump within view of the Nakasuk school grounds from a Twin Otter.

Operation Nanook 2014’s second scenario will run Aug. 25 to Aug. 29, according to Canadian Forces’ Joint Task Force North, and involve some of the equipment on display.

Canadian Forces and several federal, territorial and municipal agencies will take part in the “all of government exercise,” as Joint Task Force North calls it.

The exercise involves the simulated rescue of a passenger cruise ship in York Sound, more than 250 kilometres from Iqaluit in Frobisher Bay.

The Government of Nunavut advised in an Aug. 14 news release that there will be an increase in air traffic around Iqaluit as of Aug. 20 “with the arrival of Canadian Air Force C-17s, C-130s, and the familiar yellow Twin Otters of the Yellowknife-based 440 Transport Squadron.”

Civilian and military role-players will be in Iqaluit facilities such as hospitals and community centres up to Aug. 29, “to simulate persons needing help, or persons assisting in the exercise,” the GN stated in the news release.

“Iqalummiut may encounter military or civilian personnel with life-like injuries, however, please note they are only role-players with simulated injuries,” the release stated.

The government has also advised hunters, fishers and boaters to avoid the area of York Sound from Aug. 23 to Aug. 28, when the simulated rescue takes place.

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