February 12, 2016
OTTAWA – Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships (HMCS) Edmonton and Saskatoon will depart Esquimalt today to participate on Operation CARIBBE 2016, embarking on Canada’s 10th year of contributions to Op MARTILLO – the multinational campaign against transnational criminal organizations in the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean.
· HMC Ships Edmonton and Saskatoon are the second of several Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) ships 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.
· 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 Edmonton and Saskatoon 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 CAF has conducted Operation CARIBBE since November 2006 and remains committed to working with Western Hemisphere and European partners to address security challenges in the region to disrupt illicit trafficking operations.
“Our sailors are proud to support this multinational effort to suppress criminal activity at sea and interrupt the flow of illicit drugs which contributes to the erosion of regional stability. We remain steadfast in our commitment to build and sustain relationships with our regional partners, who share our interests and security concerns, through various training opportunities, port visits and humanitarian projects.”
– Rear-Admiral Gilles Couturier, Commander, Maritime Forces Pacific
Backgrounder – Operation CARIBBE