Attending the NATO Defence Ministers, meeting in Brussels, Canadian Defence Minister, Harjit S. Sajjan supported the decision and confirmed the participation of the Canadian Navy frigate HMCS Fredericton in the Aegean Sea patrols.
NATO Defence Ministers, meeting in Brussels, agreed on February 11, 2016, to provide support to Greece and Turkey with the current refugee and migrant crisis.
Harjit S. Sajjan, Defence Minister, said: “What we’re providing is that higher-level reconnaissance and surveillance to make their jobs far more effective, which is being able to figure out the patterns, from the criminality side.”
General Philip M. Breedlove of the United States Air Force, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander for Europe, said: “This mission has literally come together in the last 20 hours, and I have been tasked now to go back and define the mission. We had some very rapid decision making, and now we have to go out to do some military work.”
The role of the SNMG2 mission will now be to conduct surveillance, reconnaissance, and monitoring of migrant crossings in the Aegean Sea in in close coordination with both national coastguards, and the European Union.
While it was initially uncertain whether the SNMG2 ships would arrive to the region by February 12 or at a later date, the Canadian Navy in a tweet confirmed the initial predictions.
— Canadian Forces (@CanadianForces) February 12, 2016
HMCS Fredericton is presently part of the Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2), and is working with allies to refine its exact role within the operation.