Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Winnipeg transitioned from Operation PROJECTION to Operation NEON last month. The operation is Canada’s contribution to a coordinated multinational effort to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) sanctions imposed against North Korea.
These UNSC sanctions aim to pressure North Korea to abandon its weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs and respond to North Korean nuclear weapon tests and missile launches.
“As a Pacific nation, Canada continues to work with our partners and allies in the Asia-Pacific to maintain peace and security in the region. Canada fully supports the United Nations Security Council sanctions against North Korea and we will continue to work with our allies and partners in pursuing our common objective of a secure and stable Korean Peninsula,” Harjit Sajjan, minister of national defence stated proudly.
While HMCS Winnipeg and its CH-148 Cyclone helicopter are deployed on Op NEON in the East China Sea region, the crew will work with their partners to identify suspected maritime sanctions evasion activities, in particular ship-to-ship transfers of fuel and other commodities subject to UNSC resolutions. This is the third time the CAF has deployed personnel since the start of Operation NEON in 2019.
Along with the ship, a CP-140 Aurora and approximately 50 personnel from 405 Long Range Patrol Squadron, based in 14 Wing Greenwood, Nova Scotia, will contribute to the sanction monitoring efforts in November 2020. The CP-140 Aurora, crew, and supporting personnel will operate from Kadena Air Base in Japan.
The CP-140 Aurora supports a wide variety of roles, including operations management and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions.
Consequent to completion of its Op NEON mission at the end of October, HMCS Winnipeg will return to Op PROJECTION and take part in Exercise KEEN SWORD, alongside the United States Navy, the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force, and the Royal Australian Navy.
“The ship’s company of HMCS Winnipeg has worked tirelessly demonstrating utmost professionalism with our international partners during Operation PROJECTION, and I know they will continue to do so during Operation NEON,” Rear-Admiral Brian Santarpia, Maritime Component Commander
While on Op PROJECTION, HMCS Winnipeg will further strengthen Canada’s relations with partners in the area by conducting training and engagements with foreign navies and other international security partners. Finally, before returning to Canada, HMCS Winnipeg will return to the East China Sea to complete the second iteration of Op NEON in November 2020.
“The ship’s company of HMCS Winnipeg has worked tirelessly demonstrating utmost professionalism with our international partners during Operation PROJECTION, and I know they will continue to do so during Operation NEON,” Rear-Admiral Brian Santarpia, Maritime Component Commander, commented.
As in all its deployments, throughout its deployment in the Asia-Pacific region, HMCS Winnipeg will operate in a manner consistent with international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
While the ship continues its deployment, the same measures that have been in place over the past few months to minimize the potential exposure to COVID-19 will continue.
When the ship goes alongside in a foreign port, there are significant restrictions on who can come on the ship and be screened for COVID-19 beforehand.
HMCS Winnipeg set sail at the beginning of August and has participated in Pacific Rim, and moved on to join in Operation PROJECTION and Operation NEON.
Despite the limitations of operating in a COVID-19 environment, the CAF has remained agile and able to conduct successful missions around the world, all while adhering to both domestic and host nation COVID-19 safety requirements noted the press release.