Warship departs for drug interdiction mission

HMCS Summerside departs on 26 October. The Honorable Arthur J. Leblanc, ONS, QC, Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia and Commodore Richard Feltham, Commander Canadian Fleet Atlantic, takes the salute. Photo by Mona Ghiz, MARLANT Public Affairs

HMCS Summerside departs on 26 October. The Honorable Arthur J. Leblanc, ONS, QC, Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia and Commodore Richard Feltham, Commander Canadian Fleet Atlantic, takes the salute. Photo by Mona Ghiz, MARLANT Public Affairs

National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces
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HMCS Summerside departed Halifax Oct. 26 for Operation Caribbe, Canada’s contribution to Campaign Martillo – the multinational campaign against transnational criminal organizations in the Caribbean Sea and eastern Pacific Ocean.

This is the 14th year the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) has conducted Operation Caribbe, working with Western Hemisphere and European partners to address security challenges in the region by deterring criminal activity and disrupting illicit trafficking operations.

As part of Operation Caribbe, the Royal Canadian Navy deploys a periodic rotation of warships from both the east and west coasts, while the Royal Canadian Air Force provides CP-140 Aurora aircraft from long-range patrol squadrons.

Deploying from Halifax, NS, Summerside will be working with the United States Coast Guard and the United States Navy to find and track vessels of interest in the Caribbean Basin. The USCG law enforcement detachments (LEDET) then approach and intercept them, before boarding and inspecting the ship and cargo.

Since 2006, the navy and the air force have been credited with supporting the seizure or disruption of approximately 105 metric tonnes of cocaine and more than 6.7 metric tonnes of marijuana.

Each member of the crew in Summerside has undergone a 14-day sequestration prior to their departure for this mission in order to minimize the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

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