A RCAF CC-138 Twin Otter delivers supplies to a Canadian Ranger patrol on Sherard Osborn Island, Nunavut during Operation Nunalivut 2013 (Image © Cpl Aydyn Neifer, CFJIC High Readiness / DND-MDN Canada)

Canadian Air Force projects Arctic fighting power

A RCAF CC-138 Twin Otter delivers supplies to a Canadian Ranger patrol on Sherard Osborn Island, Nunavut during Operation Nunalivut 2013 (Image © Cpl Aydyn Neifer, CFJIC High Readiness / DND-MDN Canada)
A RCAF CC-138 Twin Otter delivers supplies to a Canadian Ranger patrol on Sherard Osborn Island, Nunavut during Operation Nunalivut 2013 (Image © Cpl Aydyn Neifer, CFJIC High Readiness / DND-MDN Canada)

The Royal Canadian Air Force is projecting its firepower and readiness in the Arctics the first two weeks of April. Two exercises will bring practically all important air assets into the snow and cold northern parts of the second largest country of the world.

Operation Spring Forward is a major exercise to test and train the North American Aerospace Defense Command and Canadian NORAD Region (CANR). With six months of planning the exercise will see CF-18 Hornet fighter aircraft, CC-130T Hercules transport aircraft, CC-150T Polaris air-to-air refueling aircraft and other support aircraft forward deployed to Inuvik and Yellowknife (Northwest Territories), Iqaluit in Nunavut and Goose Bay in Newfoundland and Labrador.

At the same time Operation Nunalivut 2014 has been kicked off. Lasting from 2 April to 3 May it is the premier High Arctic operation of the Joint Task Force North. Centre location is Resolute Bay, Nunavut, with the majority of personnel and assets deploying from April 16 to 24. This operation includes both combined and joint operations exercising interoperability and Arctic skill-sets.

During Nunalivut 2014 the Task Force Headquarters will operate out of Resolute Bay, while Canadian Army and Royal Canadian/US Navy units will conduct patrols and dive operations. Tactical airlift, resupply, surveillance, reconnaissance and mission support is provided by the RCAF’s 440 (Transport) Squadron and the 109th Airlift Wing of the New York Air National Guard. 440(T) Sqn is equipped with four CC-138 Twin Otters and normally operates as part of 17 Wing out of Winnipeg. the USAF NY ANG 109th AW flies the Lockheed C-130H and LC-130H Hercules.

Source: RCAF

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Two CC-130 Hercules aircraft refuel in Resolute Bay, Nunavut, during Operation Nunalivut 2013  (Image © Corporal Pierre Letourneau / DND-MDN Canada)
Two CC-130 Hercules aircraft refuel in Resolute Bay, Nunavut, during Operation Nunalivut 2013
(Image © Corporal Pierre Letourneau / DND-MDN Canada)