HMCS Vancouver begins Operation Neon deployment

HMCS Vancouver makes its approach on United States Naval Ship Yukon for a Replenishment-at-Sea on Aug. 23 off the coast of Guam during Operation Projection. Photo: Sergeant Ghislain Cotton, Canadian Armed Forces.

National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

His Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Vancouver commenced Operation (Op) Neon on Sept. 20.

This is the seventh time the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) deployed in support of Op Neon since 2018.

“Following our successes on Op Projection, the crew of HMCS Vancouver is proud to begin our duties on Op Neon,” said Commander (Cdr) Kevin Whiteside, Commanding Officer of HMCS Vancouver.

Op Neon is Canada’s contribution to monitoring United Nations Security Council (UNSC) sanctions designed to pressure North Korea to abandon its weapons of mass destruction programs. During the mission, the CAF aims to identify suspected maritime sanctions evasion activities, particularly ship-to-ship transfers of fuel and other commodities banned by the UNSC resolutions. In April 2021, the Government of Canada extended the mission until the end of April 2023.

Cdr Whiteside said his team looks forward to working with partners and allies in the region to support the UN Security Council’s sanctions.

“This contribution bolsters the integrity of the global sanctions regime against North Korea, enhances regional peace and stability, and supports the rules-based international order,” he said.

HMCS Vancouver has been deployed alongside HMCS Winnipeg on Op Projection since August. During Vancouver’s deployment under Op Neon, the ship will also exercise Keen Sword with the United States military, Japan Self-Defense Force, and Kadex with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.

The ship is deployed with a CH-148 Cyclone helicopter, which augments the monitoring capabilities of HMCS Vancouver. An RCAF CP-140 Aurora long-range patrol aircraft is scheduled to deploy next month on Op Neon with the crew and supporting personnel to operate out of Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan.

“A key objective of the Canadian Armed Forces is a stable, free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific, which North Korea’s pursuit of ballistic and nuclear weapons technology puts at risk,” said Vice-Admiral Bob Auchterlonie, Commander of Canadian Joint Operations Command. “Our presence here shows our dedication to the preservation of peace and security in this region and across the globe.”

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