Military operation to start in Resolute

Operation Nunalivut starts Tuesday near Resolute, Nunavut, marking the military's first official return to the area since the tragic First Air plane crash in August.

Exercise marks military's 1st official return since August plane crash

Defence Minister Peter McKay and Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Walter Natynczyk lead a parade of Canadian Rangers and regular-force soldiers up the runway of this remote military post on the northern tip of Ellesmere Island at the close of Operation Nunalivut in 2010. The military will return to the Resolute, Nunavut, area this week for 2012's Operation Nunalivut. (Bob Weber/The Canadian Press)

The Canadian military’s Operation Nunalivut starts in Resolute, Nunavut, on Tuesday.

About 150 people, including Canadian Rangers and military personnel, will participate in the exercise. The challenging High Arctic environment and the potentially severe weather will set the stage for two missions.

"One is in the vicinity of Beechy Island, enabling search and rescue training combined with a dive operation," said Brig.-Gen. Guy Hamel, the Canadian Forces' commander in the North.

"There will be also be a northern ground patrol scenario that will allow the Canadian Rangers to both exercise sovereignty and practice aerial search techniques."

Operation Nunalivut will run until May 1.

This will mark the Canadian Forces' first official return to Resolute since a First Air passenger jet crashed near the community on Aug. 20.

That crash, which claimed the lives of 12 of the 15 people on board, happened while the military was taking part in Operation Nanook in the area.

Operation Nunalivut is one of three major military exercises that take place in Canada's North every year.