Ships home for the holidays

family at navy ship yard

Left to right: CPO2 Don Reid greets his wife PO1 Allison Reid as she disembarks from HMCS Whitehorse at the completion of Operation Caribbe last Thursday. She holds her son Jackson as daughter Madeleine stands close by.

DND – The last Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) assets, HMC Ships Brandon and Whitehorse arrived home last Thursday, concluding a successful year for the CAF on Operation Caribbe.

Canada’s 2015 annual contribution to the multinational campaign against illicit trafficking in the eastern Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean – Operation Martillo – saw CAF assets and personnel directly contribute to the seizure or disruption of approximately 18.5 metric tons of cocaine and three metric tons of marijuana, more than any other year since the CAF’s contribution began in 2006.

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 (HMC Ships Winnipeg and Vancouver), and one Iroquois-class destroyer (HMCS Athabaskan) with its two embarked CH-124 Sea King helicopters.

Royal Canadian Navy ships deployed a total of 10 times (HMC Ships Whitehorse and Winnipeg deployed twice each) and sailed for a total of 344 days.

Royal Canadian Air Force CP-140 Auroras flew 321 hours, and CH-124 Sea Kings flew 150 hours, providing surveillance, detection, and disruption capabilities during the operation.

HMC Ships Brandon and Whitehorse seized and disrupted more narcotics during a 44-day deployment this fall than any other duo of Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels during the operation’s history, with a combined total of approximately 9,800kg. The previous record of 5,934 kg was held by HMC Ships Whitehorse and Nanaimo, obtained earlier this year while deployed in the Eastern Pacific.

“I have seen the terrible damage inflicted onto Canadian cities and citizens caused by organized crime and their business in drug trafficking,” said Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defence. “This year’s record success on Operation Caribbe is a testament to the Canadian Armed Forces, and particularly the Royal Canadian Navy and the Royal Canadian Air Force’s dedication and perseverance to work with our allies in complex environments for the safety and security of the citizens of this continent.”

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 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 and successfully disrupt illicit trafficking operations.

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