WHITEHORSE—The Government of Yukon, City of Whitehorse, Canadian Armed Forces, the RCMP and the Whitehorse General Hospital have officially wrapped up a successful Operation NANOOK 2013.
The Yukon government led the Whitehorse portion of the exercise which took place between August 4 and 9. As part of the exercise, the Yukon government called on the Government of Canada for assistance in dealing with a wide-scale forest fire, as would happen in a real-life emergency.
“Working collectively with our partners we were able to test many of our systems and key players in realistic scenarios,” Premier Darrell Pasloski said. “We certainly were up to the task and the lessons learned will help us be even more effective in the future.”
A series of simulated emergency exercises were conducted in the Whitehorse area involving the multiple agencies and governments responsible for emergency management and coordination. A biohazard accident, a mass casualty event and an evacuation of the Whitehorse Copper Country Residential and Mount Sima Industrial subdivisions were just some of the mock exercises that helped test and strengthen emergency systems.
“The Yukon government is extremely appreciative of the support of the Canadian Armed Forces and our many regional and national partners,” Community Services Minister Brad Cathers said. “We will now have an opportunity to report on and analyze the operation and the lessons learned. This invaluable information will help us strengthen our emergency management capacity and response.”
In addition to the Canadian Armed Forces and the various Yukon agencies and organizations involved, Operation NANOOK 2013 also attracted participants and observers from British Columbia, Alberta, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Ontario and Quebec, as well as the United States, allowing Yukon to test existing mutual aid agreements. For example, Alaska’s involvement included the establishment of a mobile command unit.
“Operation NANOOK 2013 has strengthened the relationships and partnerships among our emergency response agencies," Mayor Dan Curtis said. “The City and its partners are now even better prepared to deal with a real, large-scale emergency, helping to make our community safer for all residents.”
“We have immensely enjoyed Yukon hospitality and our great working relationships with the territorial and municipal governments,” Joint Task Force (North) Forward Whitehorse commanding officer Lieutenant-Colonel John St. Dennis said. “Operation NANOOK 2013 has enhanced these relationships and all involved have improved their abilities to respond to an emergency situation to serve the citizens of the Yukon.”
Operation NANOOK is the most well-known annual training operation held in the North by the Canadian Armed Forces. For photos, videos and more information on the Yukon portion of Operation NANOOK 2013 visit www.gov.yk.ca/opnanook13.html.
Visit the Canadian Armed Forces’ website for information on the larger Operation NANOOK 2013 exercise.
Government of Yukon
Communications, Community Services
Government of Yukon
Communications, City of Whitehorse
|Captain Sandra Lévesque
Senior Public Affairs Officer,
Joint Task Force (North)
867-873-0700, ext. 6043