Canadian ships, HMCS Edmonton and Yellowknife, along with HMC Submarine Victoria, recently completed deployments in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, marking the end of a very successful year for Operation CARIBBE 2013.
The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) had tremendous operational success this year combating transnational organized crime off the Caribbean and Pacific coasts of Central America, directly contributing to the seizure of 5 080 kilograms of cocaine and disruption of international drug trafficking over 11 months.
“This year’s success on Operation CARIBBE is a testament to Canada’s ability to work with our international partners and contribute to the safety and security of the citizens of this continent,”” said the Hon. Rob Nicholson, Minister of National Defence. “I’m proud of our sailors, airmen and airwomen who continue to serve as excellent ambassadors for our nation and keep our shared maritime approaches secure.””
As part of Operation CARIBBE 2013, the CAF contributed seven ships, four CP-140 Aurora aircraft, and a submarine to combat transnational crimes; four ships and three aircraft deployed to the Western Caribbean Sea at various times throughout the year, while the remaining assets focused on the Eastern Pacific Ocean near Central America.
While deployed, CAF air and naval assets patrolled international waters in an effort to locate, track, approach and potentially intercept suspicious vessels in order to allow United States Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment personnel to board and conduct law enforcement operations. The CP-140 Aurora aircraft played a crucial role in the operation, providing surveillance and detection that guided both Canadian and international partners’ ships to suspect vessels.
“Through participation on Operation CARIBBE, Victoria and her crew demonstrated the unique contribution that submarines bring to today’s complex maritime environment,” said Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, Commander Royal Canadian Navy.
Every year, under the coordination of the Joint Interagency Task Force South (JIATF-S), partner nations intercept and seize millions of dollars worth of illicit drugs, and play a major role in suppressing illicit trafficking in international waters and airspace. This year alone, from January 1 to December 11, illicit trafficking operations led by JIATF-S successfully prevented 123 metric tonnes of cocaine and 30 408 lbs of marijuana from reaching North American streets.
Press Release, December 19, 2013; Image: Wikimedia