Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, along with Parliamentary Secretary Jean Rioux, announced earlier this week that Operation ARTEMIS, Canada’s contribution to peace and stability operations in the Middle East and East Africa, has been extended to April 30, 2021.
The decision to extend this operation another four years demonstrates Canada’s commitment to maritime security and counter-terrorism efforts in an area that spans over five million square kilometres and includes the main shipping routes from the Far East to Europe and North America.
Contributing to the security of this region allows safe passage for merchant vessels and supports regional stability and economic trade.
The Government of Canada is providing up to $131.4 million in funding to support the operation extension.
“Today’s global environment is complex and dangerous, with threats to safety and security that are increasingly interconnected. The Government of Canada’s renewed commitment to counter-terrorism efforts is vital to building a safer and more prosperous world. I’m incredibly proud of the women and men contributing to the success of Operation ARTEMIS and know that their hard work will continue to deliver real results that benefit not only Canada, but the global community,” said Minister Sajjan.
Through Operation ARTEMIS, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) are authorized to deploy a number of maritime assets to the Combined Maritime Forces’ Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150, to contribute to the security of the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, the Arabian Sea, and the Indian Ocean.
The extension of Operation ARTEMIS also allows the CAF to deploy up to 375 personnel, command CTF 150 twice during the four-year mandate, provide a Halifax-class frigate once every two years, provide a CP-140 Aurora once every year, and enforce United Nations Security Council Resolution 2317 related to the arms embargo and the ban on the import and export of charcoal into or out of Somalia.
Canada has been contributing to CTF 150, through Operation ARTEMIS, since 2012 and just completed its third command rotation of the task force in April 2017.
Just in the past year, CTF 150 has denied criminal networks access to millions of dollars from illicit trafficking by seizing and destroying nearly 2,700 kg of narcotics and more than 3,300 weapons.