Operation Nanook, one of the largest military exercises in Canada's North, begins this week near Iqaluit.

Lt-Col. Deanna Manson, task force commander of the operation, says residents of Iqaluit heading out on the land and water should be aware of the mock military exercises.

"We know that we're practising for an emergency situation that might occur," she said. "Being part of that training process and learning process is very important to the troops that are here."

About 800 military personnel are expected to take part. The military plans to use up to 35 ATVs and eight helicopters. Other aircraft will include C-17 Globemasters and C-130 Hercules, as well as Twin Otters from 440 Transport Squadron in Yellowknife. 

Canadian Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Navy ships will also be participating in the exercises. 

The first exercise will be a search-and-rescue simulation involving life rafts and mannequins at Davis Strait. A second major scenario will simulate a cruise ship that has run aground in Frobisher Bay.

Most of the operation will take place between Aug. 20 and 29. The cruise ship scenario begins next Monday near York Sound.

Officials advise there will be civilian and military role-players with simulated injuries in York Sound and in Iqaluit facilities, such as the hospital, as part of the exercise.