News Release

Arctic sovereignty patrol to include air crash exercise

NR-05.003 - March 16, 2005


Yellowknife, NWT – The Canadian Forces will soon carry out a major sovereignty patrol in the high Arctic. During the patrol, the participating soldiers will conduct an emergency response exercise simulating an air crash in a remote area.

Held between March 31 to April 15 from the abandoned weather station at Isachsen on Ellef Ringnes Island in Nunavut, the sovereignty patrol will include snowmobile expeditions to several islands in the area. The ground force will live in tents throughout the operation. Isachsen is 1,400 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle and is said to have the worst weather in Canada.

The air crash exercise, to be conducted on Friday, April 8, will focus on the wreck of a U.S. Air Force DC-3 transport aircraft that crashed at Isachsen during the 1950s.

“This sovereignty patrol is part of regular operations conducted by Canadian Forces Northern Area,” said patrol leader Major Stewart Gibson, Commanding Officer of 1 Canadian Ranger Patrol Group. “In addition to the training value, such patrols reinforce our presence in the Canadian high Arctic.”

The Canadian Rangers and 440 Transport Squadron will be exercising search-and-rescue skills that the Joint Rescue and Co-ordination Centres in Victoria, Trenton and Halifax could utilize to save lives in the event of a mishap in the high Arctic.

The patrol will involve 14 Canadian Rangers from the Northwest Territories, Yukon, Nunavut and Saskatchewan; nine Regular Force members from Canadian Forces Northern Area; and two CC-138 Twin Otters and their six crew members from 440 Transport Squadron in Yellowknife.


Note to editors: News media are invited to the air-crash exercise. Participants will take air transport from Yellowknife to Isachsen on April 7, and return by way of Resolute Bay on April 9. A Canadian Forces Combat Camera team will take stills and video footage of the exercise that will be made available. Seating is limited. To arrange participation, please contact:

Capt. Joanna Labonté, Canadian Forces Northern Area Public Affairs Officer, at:

Office - (867) 873-0700, ext. 0805
Cell - 765-8612
Email -


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