The North Warning System (NWS) is an operational defence system that was designed to promote North American air sovereignty and continental security. It detects aircraft and cruise missiles flying within its radar coverage, and spans over 5000 kilometers across Canada’s North.
In 1987, Frontec Logistics Corp, an ATCO company, was awarded the contract to manage and operate the NWS. Frontec was committed to providing what were then defined as northern benefits: contracts and employment opportunities for northerners. In 1994 they formed a joint venture with the Pan Arctic Inuit Logistics Corporation, which became Nasittuq Corporation. In 2001, Nasittuq was awarded the contract to operate the NWS.
There are 47 radar sites that operate unattended, powered by diesel electronic generators, and are connected by satellite ground terminals, all which need complex and constant support. These sites are managed through five logistics support sites acoss Canada’s North: Inuvik, Cambridge Bay, Hall Beach, Iqaluit and Goose Bay. Also included were a System Support Center and a System Control Center in North Bay, Ontario, as well as a Contract Management Office in Ottawa, Ontario.
From 2001-2014, Nasittuq was responsible for the operation and maintenance of the entire system including 47 helipads, gravel runways, over 118 buildings and 311 bulk fuel storage tanks. The work involved maintenance, logistics, environmental systems management, systems engineering and project management.