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April 15, 2015
ESQUIMALT, B.C. – Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships (HMCS) Whitehorse and Nanaimo returned to Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Esquimalt today after a deployment on Operation CARIBBE, Canada’s contribution to the multinational campaign against illicit trafficking in the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean and its approaches, and the eastern Pacific off the coasts of Mexico, Central America, Colombia, and Ecuador.
The combined efforts of Whitehorse and Nanaimo during this important operation aided the United States Coast Guard (USCG) in the interception of more than 5800 kg of cocaine, while providing a deterring presence in the international waters of the region.
HMCS Whitehorse, in collaboration with the U.S. Navy, and in support of the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) assisted with the seizure of more than 5200 kg of cocaine off the coast of Costa Rica as part of Operation CARIBBE in early March.
HMCS Nanaimo, after being directed to search an area off the coast of Guatemala for suspicious activity on March 10th, 2015, discovered 50 floating 1 kg packets of cocaine over several miles of ocean.
In late March, HMCS Whitehorse, under the direction of U.S. Joint Interagency Task Force South, actively assisted USCG Cutter Boutwell in the interception of a vessel of interest. Once on scene, crewmembers from USCG Cutter Boutwell retrieved 15 bales of cocaine, weighing more than 600 kg, from the water surrounding the vessel.
HMCS Whitehorse and Nanaimo deployed on Operation CARIBBE for 5 weeks from February 23 to April 7. The ships also deployed together for 5 weeks from February 19 to May 28, 2014.
As part of Operation CARIBBE 2015, the Royal Canadian Navy deployed warships, while the Royal Canadian Air Force provided CP-140 Aurora aircraft. Operation CARIBBE deployments are a joint multinational effort led by the United States to eliminate illicit trafficking in the Caribbean Sea, the eastern Pacific Ocean and the coastal areas of the Central American nations.
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. This annual operation directly supports the CAF’s mission to defend against threats and security challenges to Canada, North America, and our defence and security partners.
“The crews of Nanaimo and Whitehorse have made Canadians proud with their exceptional and important work in defending North America. 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.”
The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of National Defence
“The Canadian Armed Forces have seen great success on Operation CARIBBE, year after year, directly contributing to the interception of illicit trafficking in the region. Bravo Zulu to the crews of Nanaimo and Whitehorse for your steadfast efforts in working with our partners to counter international criminal activity.”
Rear-Admiral Bill Truelove, Commander, MARPAC/JTFP
“All the training that we conducted in preparation for Operation CARIBBE paid off in our collaboration and support of the U.S. Coast Guard. I was fully confident that our crew would perform to the highest standards on this operation and they proved me right.”
Lieutenant-Commander Chris Rochon, Commanding Officer of HMCS Whitehorse
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Department of National Defence