Two Canadian Navy coastal defence vessels, Edmonton and Saskatoon departed Esquimalt, Canada on February 12 to participate in Operation Caribbe 2016.
HMC Ships Edmonton and Saskatoon are the second pair of several Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) ships that will participate on Operation Caribbe 2016. Before them, HMCS Moncton and HMCS Summerside headed for Op Caribbe on January 27.
Throughout the year, the Royal Canadian Navy will deploy warships from both the East and West Coasts, while the Royal Canadian Air Force will provide CP-140 Aurora aircraft from various long-range patrol squadrons, all in support of Operation Martillo.
As part of Operation Caribbe 2015, the CAF contributed four CP-140 Aurora surveillance aircraft, five Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels (HMC Ships Brandon, Goose Bay, Nanaimo, Shawinigan and Whitehorse), two Halifax-class frigate with their embarked CH-124 Sea King helicopter (HMCS Winnipeg and Vancouver), and one Iroquois-class destroyer (HMCS Athabaskan) with her two embarked CH-124 Sea King helicopters.
HMC Ships Edmonton and Saskatoon will look to follow-up on the success of HMC Ships Brandon and Whitehorse. The ships assisted in the seizure and disruption of more narcotics during a 44-day deployment in the fall of 2015 than any other duo of Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels in the history of Operation Caribbe , with a combined total of approximately 9,800 kilograms.
Rear-Admiral Gilles Couturier, Commander, Maritime Forces Pacific, said: “Our sailors are proud to support this multinational effort to suppress criminal activity at sea and interrupt the flow of illicit drugs which contributes to the erosion of regional stability.”
“We remain steadfast in our commitment to build and sustain relationships with our regional partners, who share our interests and security concerns, through various training opportunities, port visits and humanitarian projects.”