HMCS Athabaskan departed Halifax September 7 to support Operation Caribbe, Canada’s contribution to the multinational campaign against illicit trafficking and organized crime in the Caribbean and on the Pacific coast of Central America.
The ship will join allied forces in the area of operations later this month. It will be the sixth Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) ship to deploy on Operation Caribbe in 2014, and the fourth ship to deploy from Canadian Fleet Atlantic.
“Canada is committed to working with our allies to address security challenges in the Americas,” said Minister of National Defence Rob Nicholson. “The crew of HMCS Athabaskan should be proud that as they combat illegal trafficking in the Caribbean, they will be helping to keep our streets and communities safe here at home.”
HMCS Athabaskan will also participate in the Star Spangled 200 Spectacular in Baltimore, Maryland, as well as strategic engagement sessions with international allies at its scheduled port visits throughout the mission. Star Spangled 200 Spectacular is a festival which commemorates the end of the War of 1812, as well as the introduction of the United States’ flag and the National Anthem.
“Maritime Forces Atlantic remains committed to supporting this mission by continuously deploying ships and sailors,” said Rear-Admiral John Newton, Commander Maritime Forces Atlantic and Joint Task Force Atlantic. “HMCS Athabaskan has a great team of professional sailors who are ready to face the many challenges that will be presented to them, and I am confident that their mission will be successful.”
The RCN has deployed warships from both the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets on Operation Caribbe since November 2006 to patrol international waters in an effort to locate, track, approach and potentially intercept suspicious vessels and enable law enforcement agencies to take appropriate action.