Canada’s annual northern sovereignty operation, known as Operation Nanook, kicked off yesterday in Nunavut and the Yukon. 

As many as 850 military and civilian participants are taking part in this year’s operation, which is focusing on interagency operations with federal and territorial agencies.

“…it is critical that responses to all incidents, whether natural catastrophes or protection of Canada’s sovereignty, are properly coordinated and executed,” said a press release from Brigadier-General Mike Nixon, Commander, Joint Task Force North.

This year, the military operation is focused on two exercises.

Arctic security exercises will be held in and around Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, from August 24 to 29 which will include patrols, search and rescue training and simulated combat exercises.

The second exercise is simulated earthquake in the Whitehorse and Haines Junction areas of Yukon, from August 21 to September 2.

Notably, the Northwest Territories will not be directly involved in the operation, after using Inuvik as its base last year.

The focus last year was on responding to oil spills and other safety events, particularly for communities of Inuvik, Uluhaktok, Tuktoyaktuk, Sachs Harbour and Fort Smith.