Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence
Canada Command

Canada Command

November 02, 2009 16:23 ET

Canadian Warships Complete Counter-Narcotics Operation

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 2, 2009) - Two Canadian Forces warships recently completed operations in support of Operation CARIBBE, Canada's contribution to an ongoing U.S.-led, multi-national effort to interdict drug trafficking in the waters of the Caribbean Basin and East Pacific. HMCS Calgary from the west coast, and HMCS Toronto from the east coast, were deployed from September 17th to October 30th and provided surveillance capabilities in support to law enforcement authorities.

General Walt Natynczyk, Chief of Defence Staff summed up the operation by saying, "In the new global environment, working closely with other countries not only provides the Canadian Forces an excellent training opportunity, but also reflects Canada's strategic interest in the region and demonstrates our capabilities alongside our allies. Participation in counter-drug operations such as Operation CARIBBE contributes to the safety and security of Canadians and helps meet the security challenges of the world's longest coastline."

"The Canadian Forces members from both coasts participating in Operation CARIBBE not only contributed to this important multi-national counter-narcotics operation but also gained valuable skill sets and experience that can be employed to ensure the safety, security and defence of our own coasts and waterways," said Vice-Admiral Bruce Donaldson, Commander of Canada Command.

Canada Command, the Canadian Forces organization responsible for routine and contingency operations in Canada and continental North America, contributed two Canadian naval warships to the Joint Interagency Task Force (South) (JIATF South), offering powerful surveillance capabilities that help law enforcement authorities locate, track, and intercept illegal activities off North America's coasts. Operation CARIBBE directly supports the Canadian Government's objective of strengthening Canadian interests in the region while addressing mutual concerns with our allies.

Under JIATF South, based in Key West, Florida, Canada has worked alongside partner nations France, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States, in multinational drug surveillance and interdiction operations in the Caribbean Basin and East Pacific since November 2006. Since commencing, the multinational operation has stopped more than 200 metric tonnes of drugs from entering North America in both 2007 and 2008.

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