Posts Tagged ‘resolute’

Russia to Resolute: explorers plan to drive over top of the world to North Pole

February 20, 2011

Original article here

A group of Canadian and Russian explorers will set out to make history this week by driving from Russia to Canada over the North Pole.

Yes, driving.

“It’s the first time … someone will be crossing the Arctic Ocean with a wheel-based vehicle,” said Mikhail Glan, a Russian emigre living in Vancouver. “It’s a very interesting project.”

The eight-member Polar Ring team, which includes two Canadians, is to leave Thursday from an island in the Russian Arctic and roll straight north until it hits the pole. The team will then gas up and take on supplies at an ice camp used by tourists before heading south to Resolute, Nunavut.

“We plan to drive from Russia to the North Pole … Then we’ll drive all the way to Resolute Bay,” Glan said from Moscow. “It’s pretty simple.”

Simple, that is, until you consider that the trip is expected to take about four months and cover 7,000 kilometres in one of the most forbidding parts of the planet — nearly half of it sea ice.

At the North Pole, the sun won’t even rise until March 19. The average temperature is -34 C.

And while southern lakes may freeze into easily crossed white tabletops, the Arctic Ocean does anything but. The thick ice shifts and moves with winds and currents, throwing up huge ridges when pans bump together and leaving wide stretches of frigid, open water when they don’t.

This year is likely to be even tougher than most. There’s less ocean covered by ice now than there has been in any winter since satellite records began.

“There could be lots of open water,” said Glan. “We’re not sure that it will freeze. Most probably not, so we need to drive around.”

But that’s OK. The ice buggies can float.

“We can cross pretty big pieces of open water, but it definitely will slow us down. We hope that the weather will be more or less friendly.”

The buggies are an entirely new design, Glan said.

Other drive-the-sea-ice expeditions have used vehicles that are heavy and tank-like. A 2009 group drove modified U.S. military Humvees between the Nunavut communities of Kugluktuk and Cambridge Bay. Polar Ring’s vehicles, powered by nine-litre diesel engines, are relatively light, and look like beefed-up, closed-in dune buggies with gigantic balloon tires.

Proving the worth of those vehicles is one of the reasons for the trip. Glan said a successful drive would demonstrate that wheeled transportation could be an efficient way to get around in the High Arctic — useful to everyone from scientists to resource companies to search-and-rescue teams.

The Polar Ring members, who will post their progress on the web, will also take myriad scientific measurements and track polar bears.

But Glan said one of the main reasons for the trip is to get people excited about the Arctic and Arctic exploration. The Russia-to-Resolute drive is one leg in a multi-year project to retrace the steps of early explorers and to link circumpolar nations with a thin strand of tire tracks on the ice.

“It will help to promote activities in the Arctic and maintain interest in that,” Glan said. “It helps attract attention to the history of Arctic exploration.

“Our goal is to promote it to attract attention, to make it interesting for people. This is a good eye-catcher.”

Those aren’t the only reasons to go, of course.

“Some people ask, ‘Why do you want to do that?’ Other people, they don’t have to ask,” said Glan.

“It’s exploration. It’s adventure. It’s a great thing.”

The team, funded by a variety of Russian corporations and foundations, hopes to arrive in Resolute by late May or early June.It plans to complete the circle in 2014 by driving from Resolute along the Alaskan coast back to Russia.

Glan said Polar Ring has filled in all the necessary paperwork to cross the border into Canada.

Content Provided By Canadian Press.

 

Canada flexes military muscle: arctic sovereignty Operation NANOOK

August 11, 2010

Below is a straight up press release from The Department of National Defense, Canada Command. They’re heavily increasing their military presence, and note how they stress “sovereignty” and “presence”. Those are fightin’ words, as a great many countries want their tradeships to pass through the arctic unhindered, and many view the North West passage as international waters. They are also in a strategic collaboration with their “arctic allies” USA and Denmark, who participate in the operation. On the other hand, they are also practicing for possible oil spills, but we’d like to see as little traffic as possible in the Arctic, military or commercial. Jonas/Hornorkesteret

Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

Canada Command

Canada Command

Aug 06, 2010 17:19 ET

Canada Begins Annual Arctic Sovereignty Operation

OTTAWA, ONTARIO–(Marketwire – Aug. 6, 2010) – The Canadian Forces’ largest annual demonstration of Canada’s sovereignty in the Arctic, known as Operation NANOOK, began today as the Canadian-led Naval Task Group crossed the 60th parallel en route to the High Arctic.

This year, the 20-day event will be based out of Resolute, Nunavut—the northernmost location to host the operation since its inception in 2007. Operation NANOOK will feature sovereignty and presence patrolling, military exercises, and will culminate with a whole-of-government exercise that focuses on fuel spill containment and remediation of a simulated leak in the Resolute Bay area.

“The NANOOK operations are an important demonstration of our Government’s commitment to the Arctic region” said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence. “Building from experience and successes of previous operations, Operation NANOOK is the most complex operation of its kind, demonstrating our increased capacity and confidence in operating in the high Arctic.”

“Operation NANOOK is a clear demonstration of the Canadian Forces fulfilling our primary mission as stated in the Canada First Defence Strategy,” said General Walt Natynczyk, Chief of the Defence Staff. “We are committed to ensuring the security of all Canadians and to enhancing our presence in the Arctic by conducting sovereignty exercises and operations in cooperation with other government departments.”

As part of the Arctic Reserve Company Group, members of southern-Ontario Army Reserve units will conduct training exercises with Canadian Rangers in Resolute Bay and Pond Inlet. The Air Force will be providing air movement and mission support through the CC-177 Globemaster III, CC-130 Hercules, CP-140 Aurora, CH-146 Griffon, and CC-138 Twin Otter aircraft. The maritime component will include Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships (HMCS) Montreal, Glace Bay and Goose Bay; and Canadian Coast Guard Ships CCGS Des Groseilliers and CCGS Henry Larsen;

Canada has also invited the American naval destroyer USS Porter from the United States Second Fleet; the United States Coast Guard Cutter (USCGC) Alder; and the Royal Danish Navy ocean patrol vessel HDMS Vaedderen and offshore patrol vessel HDMS Knud Rasmussen for the purpose of exercising and increasing our interoperability with Arctic allies.

Operation NANOOK is based in the Eastern Arctic and is one of three major recurring sovereignty operations conducted annually by the CF in Canada’s Arctic, along with Operation NUNALIVUT in the High Arctic, and Operation NUNAKPUT in the Western Arctic. Planned and directed by Joint Task Force North in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, these annual operations highlight interoperability, command and control, and cooperation with interdepartmental and intergovernmental partners in the North.

Note to Editors:

Still imagery will be available for download throughout the operation on the Canadian Forces Image Gallery at: www.combatcamera.forces.gc.ca.

Video B-Roll will also be available for download on the Canadian Forces Combat Camera Video Download Site: www.combatcamera.forces.gc.ca/common/combatcamera/news.

For more information about Canada Command and Operation NANOOK visit the Canada Command website: http://www.canadacom.forces.gc.ca/daily/archive-nanook-eng.asp.

For more information on Operation NANOOK 10 please contact Lieutenant-Commander Albert Wong, Public Affairs Officer, at (416) 738-3099.

For more information, please contact

MLO Media Liaison Office
1-866-377-0811
www.forces.gc.ca

Original article here