War on Drugs Fought by CAF
The Royal Canadian Navy will deploy warships from both the East and West Coasts, as part of Operation CARIBBE 2015 while the Royal Canadian Air Force will provide CP-140 Aurora aircraft from various long-range patrol squadrons.
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. The annual operation directly supports the CAF’s mission to defend against threats and security challenges to Canada, and North America’s defence and security partners.
“Canada has been a resolute partner alongside our allies in addressing security challenges in the Central American region. For nearly a decade, we have remained committed to working with partner nations through Operation CARIBBE, preserving the safety and security of Canadians, and suppressing trafficking in international waters,” said the Minister of National Defence Rob Nicholson.
Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Winnipeg is patrolling in the Eastern Pacific for drug and other illegal trafficking as part of Operation CARIBBE 2015. The ship is part of Canada’s contribution to the multinational campaign against transnational criminal organizations in the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean basin.
HMCS Winnipeg’s deployment marks the beginning of several naval and air deployments under Operation CARIBBE scheduled for 2015.
As part of Operation CARIBBE 2014, the CAF contributed four CP-140 Aurora surveillance aircraft, seven Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels (HMC Ships Nanaimo, Whitehorse, Kingston, Glace Bay, Summerside, Brandon, and Yellowknife), one Halifax-class frigate (HMCS Calgary), and one Iroquois-class destroyer (HMCS Athabaskan) with two embarked CH-124 Sea King helicopters.
In total, CAF assets on Operation CARIBBE 2014 directly contributed to the seizure of more than four metric tons of cocaine and more than 500 kilograms of marijuana.
“The Canadian Armed Forces have seen great success on Operation CARIBBE, with our efforts, year after year, directly contributing to the interception of illicit trafficking in the region. The crew of HMCS Winnipeg, along with all of the sailors, airmen and airwomen who will participate on Op CARIBBE 2015, is well-prepared to uphold the CAF’s reputation as steadfast contributors to continental security,” said Lieutenant-General Jonathan Vance, Commander, Canadian Joint Operations Command.
Operation CARIBBE began in November 2006, and was expanded in October 2010 with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Commander of Canada Command, acting for the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces, and the Deputy Commandant for Operations of the U.S. Coast Guard, acting for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
This Memorandum of Understanding allows Law Enforcement Detachments of the U.S. Coast Guard to operate from Canadian warships deployed on Operation CARIBBE.
As part of Operation CARIBBE, Canada is also contributing Canadian Armed Forces ships and aircraft to Operation MARTILLO, a joint, combined and interagency effort by Canada, the United States, France, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom to prevent illicit trafficking in the Caribbean basin, the eastern Pacific Ocean, and the coastal waters of Central America.