10 August 2007
Resolute Bay, NUCANADIAN FORCES ARCTIC TRAINING CENTRE
The Canadian Forces Arctic Training Centre in Resolute Bay will be a multi-purpose facility for Arctic military training as well as operations. Resolute Bay was chosen because of its strategic location as the Gateway to the High Arctic and because it currently possesses adequate facilities that meet Canadian Forces requirements.
The goals of the Centre are:
To provide a multi-use facility capable of supporting the Army Advanced Winter Warfare Course; Army Sovereignty Operations and Canadian Forces Joint Exercises; Search and Rescue Technician Arctic survival training; Canadian Rangers training; and a command and control centre for regional military and civilian disaster-response operations;
To increase the Canadian Military expertise and knowledge of operating in the Arctic, and the overall Canadian military’s presence in the North; and
To provide year-round training facilities and a location for pre-positioning training equipment and various types of vehicles in the High Arctic.
From this location, Canadian Forces personnel will exercise year-round patrols in an important region of the North. A dozen Canadian military and civilian employees will be permanently dedicated to administering the facilities including two full time positions in Resolute Bay. The establishment of the Training Centre will significantly increase Canadian military operational expertise in the Arctic, and the overall Canadian military presence in the North.
The Centre will be a multi-use facility that will initially use existing federal government buildings currently owned by the Department of National Defence and the Department of Natural Resources Canada. Initial refurbishing costs are estimated at $4 million with an estimated annual expenditure of $2 million for salaries, operations and maintenance. The centre will be able to accommodate up to 100 personnel.
Joint Task Force North will manage this facility while other Canadian Forces organizations will function as visiting units as required. Training equipment and various types of vehicles pre-positioned at the site will enhance the ability of the Canadian Forces to conduct military operations in the region.
EXPANSION OF THE CANADIAN RANGERS
The Canadian Rangers are part-time reservists who provide a military presence in remote, isolated and coastal communities of Canada. Established in 1947, the Rangers are responsible for protecting Canada’s sovereignty by reporting unusual activities or sightings, collecting local data of significance to the Canadian Forces, and conducting surveillance or sovereignty patrols as required. At present, the 4,100 Rangers are grouped into 5 Canadian Ranger Patrol Groups.
The Canadian Forces intends to expand the Rangers to 5,000 members. The goals of the expansion of the Canadian Rangers Program are:
To allow new patrols to be added and existing patrols to be strengthened in the North and further south where required;
To ensure that the necessary Command and Control systems are put in place to manage the expanded force;
To formalize business plans for the $29 million annual cost of the Canadian Rangers Program which will be a recurring expenditure over the coming years; and
To support the Ranger Modernization Project that will address all aspects of Ranger uniforms and equipment.
The Canadian Rangers provide "eyes and ears" on the ground for the Canadian Forces in remote parts of Canada and assist with the training of Southern-based soldiers, sailors and airmen and women for tasks in the territories where they live.
In the past, the Rangers have been lightly equipped with a limited suite of equipment to perform their assigned tasks. The Army has commenced a Ranger Modernisation Project that will address all aspects of Ranger uniforms and equipment. Some of the issues the Project will examine include replacement of the Lee Enfield rifles currently in service, uniform modernisation and enhancement of transportation capabilities. This will ensure the Rangers have light equipment of the best quality to allow them to perform their tasks effectively. The estimated cost of the Project is $45 million.
Expansion of the Ranger Program will require additional incremental investment of roughly $12 million per year. Over 20 years, the projected incremental investment would be in excess of $240 million.
DEEP WATER PORT
The establishment of a docking and refuelling facility in Nanisivik will better enable the Canadian Forces, and in particular the new Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ships, to maintain a federal presence in Canada's Arctic waters throughout the navigable season.
The site selected for this facility is strategically located inside the eastern entrance to the North West Passage, at Nanisivik in Nunavut. As a deep-water berthing facility already exists at this site, start-up costs will be significantly reduced. With its sheltered harbour, nearby jet-capable airstrip, and proximity to the North West Passage, Nanisivik offers an ideal location for the docking and refuelling facility.
Located more than 1,000 nautical miles by sea north of Iqaluit, the facility will serve as a staging area for naval vessels on station in the high Arctic, enabling them to re-supply, refuel, embark equipment and supplies, and transfer personnel. This will extend the range of our ships in the Arctic during the navigable season (approximately June to October).
This facility may also be used by other government agencies operating in the high Arctic. For example, continued use of the Nanisivik site by the Canadian Coast Guard is envisioned. For several years Coast Guard vessels have taken on cargo at this site for delivery to communities throughout the region.
During the project definition phase, commencing in August 2007, detailed planning will be conducted in consultation with local stakeholders. Additional environmental studies and technical assessments will be undertaken in the summer of 2008 and will be performed by contracted service providers to be secured through appropriate competitive processes. Construction at the Nanisivik site is expected to commence in the summer of 2010, with an initial operating capability planned for 2012, and full operational capability by 2015.
While a detailed costing of the project will be completed during the project definition phase, preliminary estimates indicate that an investment of up to $100 million will be required. Over a 20-year period maintenance and operating costs are expected to be approximately $200 million.