HMCS Calgary involved in drug seizure

HMCS Calgary involved in drug seizure

The United State Coast Guard Cutter Active’s rigid hull inflatable boat approaches the suspect vessel while HMCS Calgary stands guard in the background.

Merely two hours after departing San Diego harbour to start an eight-day Operation Caribbe deployment with Joint Interagency Task Force South, HMCS Calgary was directed to investigate a small suspicious vessel (panga) in international waters.

The panga was approximately 100 nautical miles southwest of the United States – Mexico border.

Along with U.S. Coast Guard Cutters Active and Haddock, and a USCG C-130 Hercules on station, Calgary went in pursuit of the vessel. As this was a joint interagency operation, Calgary had the U.S. Coast Guard and a Law Enforcement Detachment embarked.

A Hercules provided reports on the panga and tracked its position, while Calgary closed the location of the vessel at full speed. As Calgary was launching its Barracuda and dispatching the Law Enforcement Detachment team, the USCGC Active dispatched  its team to approach the vessel of interest.

Calgary arrived on scene and sighted numerous bales floating in the water. As they approached the floating objects, they were discovered to be bales of what was suspected to be contraband.

The Law Enforcement Detachment was quickly dispatched to recover the bales and investigate the contents. Twenty two bales were recovered, (with an additional 28 in the panga), and the contents were confirmed to be marijuana, totaling approximately 1,200 pounds.

“Shortly after embarking the Law Enforcement Detachment crew, we were presented with an opportunity to conduct trans-national Maritime Interdiction Operations. I was impressed with the seamless interoperability between the two units. It was a true testament to the great cooperation with our partners to the south,” said Cdr John Wilson, Commanding Officer of Calgary. “It was a great day for the whole ship’s company to be a part of the frontline stopping the flow of narcotics and keeping it off the streets.”

Calgary is conducting surveillance patrols off the coast of Mexico with a USCG law enforcement detachment embarked as part of Operation Caribbe. The operation is Canada’s support to Operation Martillo, a U.S. Joint Interagency Task Force South operation, subordinate to U.S. Southern Command.

This multinational, joint, combined, and interagency effort by the nations of the Western Hemisphere and Europe prevents illicit trafficking in the Caribbean basin, the eastern Pacific Ocean, and the littoral waters of Central America.


SLt Ellie Aminaie, HMCS Calgary

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