Canadian Navy ships head for Pacific and Op Caribbe

Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships (HMCS) Moncton and Summerside departed Halifax, Canada, January 27 to participate in Operation Caribbe 2016.

Their participation in the operation will mark the start of Canada’s 10th year of contributions to Op Martillo- the multinational campaign against transnational criminal organizations in the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean.

HMC Ships Moncton and Summerside are the first of several Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) assets that will participate on Operation Caribbe 2016. Throughout the year, the Royal Canadian Navy will deploy warships from both the East and West Coasts, while the Royal Canadian Air Force will provide CP-140 Aurora aircraft from various long-range patrol squadrons, all in support of Operation Martillo.

As part of Operation Caribbe 2015, the CAF contributed four CP-140 Aurora surveillance aircraft, five Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels, HMC Ships Brandon, Goose Bay, Nanaimo, Shawinigan and Whitehorse, two Halifax-class frigate with their embarked CH-124 Sea King helicopter (HMCS Winnipeg and Vancouver), and one Iroquois-class destroyer, HMCS Athabaskan, with her two embarked CH-124 Sea King helicopters.

In 2015’s Op Caribbe, HMC Ships Brandon and Whitehorse assisted in the seizure of approximately 9,800 kilograms of narcotics.

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have conducted Operation Caribbe since November 2006 and remain committed to working with Western Hemisphere and European partners to address security challenges in the region to disrupt illicit trafficking operations.

Commenting the deployment, Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, said: “The Canadian Armed Forces have seen great success on Operation Caribbe. For a decade, we have been a steadfast player in helping to increase regional security in the Caribbean and stem the flow of illicit drugs destined for North American communities. Operations such as Caribbe are a testament to Canada’s ability to work alongside international partners in keeping our shared maritime approaches safe and secure.”