HMCS Athabaskan Concludes Operation Caribbe

Canadian Navy’s HMCS Athabaskan returned to her home port of Halifax, N.S. yesterday, after a successful deployment on Operation Caribbe, Canada’s contribution to the multinational campaign against illicit trafficking by transnational organized crime in the Caribbean basin and the eastern Pacific Ocean.

HMCS Athabaskan seamlessly conducted joint operations, supported multiple aircraft patrol sorties and participated in six intercept operations, one of which resulted in the successful disruption of 820 kg of cocaine.

The ship’s air detachment, composed of two CH-124 Sea King helicopters, logged 68 sorties totalling more than 170 flying hours.

The Royal Canadian Navy has deployed seven warships as part of Operation Caribbe 2014. The contributions of these warships have resulted in the seizure or disruption of more than six metric tonnes of cocaine to date.

Rear-Admiral John Newton, Commander Maritime Forces Atlantic and Joint Task Force Atlantic, said:

HMCS Athabaskan’s success on Operation Caribbe represents the Royal Canadian Navy’s ability to perform alongside our allies, while building and sustaining Canada’s enduring relationships with our regional security partners.

The Canadian Armed Forces have been conducting Operation Caribbe since November 2006 and remain committed to working with Western Hemisphere and European partners to disrupt illicit trafficking operations, while improving regional security and deterring criminal activity in the coastal regions of Central America.

On this deployment, Athabaskan spent 53 days away from home and 37 days at sea, sailing 14,623 nautical miles.

Along with her participation in Op Caribbe, the ship’s crew conducted two high profile strategic engagements: one in Baltimore, MD, and another in Veracruz, Mexico. In Baltimore, Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy, and the crew of Athabaskan participated in the Star-Spangled Spectacular 200 festival from September 10 to 16, celebrating the 200th anniversary of the American national anthem and one of the last great battles of the War of 1812. On October 19, Athabaskan arrived in Veracruz to support Government of Canada efforts to mark the 70th anniversary of bilateral relations with Mexico.

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Press release, Image: Canadian Navy