DND News

CAF marks 10 years for Operation CARIBBE

Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships (HMCS) Moncton and Summerside departed Halifax today to participate on Operation CARIBBE 2016, marking 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.

“The Canadian Armed Forces have seen great success on Operation CARIBBE," said Defence MInister Harjit Sajjan. "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.”

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.

HMC Ships Moncton and Summerside will look to follow-up on the success of HMC Ships Brandon and Whitehorse. The ships assisted in the seizure and disruption of more narcotics during a 44-day deployment in the fall of 2015 than any other duo of Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels in the history of Operation CARIBBE, with a combined total of approximately 9,800 kilograms.

Operation CARIBBE is one of the many activities undertaken by the Government of Canada and DND/CAF as part of Canada's broader commitment to engagement in the Americas. This annual operation directly supports the CAF's mission to defend against threats and security challenges to Canada, North America, and our defence and security partners.

“The Canadian Armed Forces’ ongoing success of Operation CARIBBE has helped establish great relations and enhanced cooperation with our allies and partners in the region," Lieutenant-General Stephen Bowes, Commander, Canadian Joint Operations Command. "Year after year, our sailors, airmen and airwomen deployed on CARIBBE have provided operational excellence, and I trust that we will continue to serve with honour and distinction in 2016.”

The CAF has 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.