Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence
Canada Command

Canada Command

May 01, 2008 12:23 ET

DND: Canadian Naval Task Group Supports Multinational Counter-Drug Operations in Caribbean Basin

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO--(Marketwire - May 1, 2008) - While en route to take part in Operation Altair, the Canadian Forces (CF) participation in the continuing U.S.-led coalition Campaign Against Terrorism, a three-ship Canadian task group recently supported multinational counter-drug operations in the Caribbean Basin.

Since November 2006, under Operation Caribbe, the CF has been supporting Joint Interagency Task Force (JIATF) South, a U.S.-led multinational drug surveillance and interdiction operation in the Caribbean Basin and East Pacific Ocean. In 2007, the multinational counter-drug operation stopped more than 200 metric tons of cocaine from entering North America.

"Addressing threats before they reach Canada's borders is a key focus of the CF. This deployment demonstrates Canada's continuing commitment to international security," said the Honourable Peter Gordon MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. "It also shows our dedication to promoting a safe and secure maritime environment off our own coasts, at the same time reinforcing ties with regional friends and allies."

While supporting JIATF South, the ships were under the control of Canada Command, which is responsible for routine and contingency CF operations throughout North America.

"Canada Command was created two years ago with a view to making North America a single theatre of operations for the Canadian Forces, and to offering our defence and security partners in Canada and the United States a single point of contact," said Lt.-Gen. Marc Dumais, Commander, Canada Command.

Past CF support to JIATF South has included the frigate Her Majesty's Canadian Ship (HMCS) Fredericton, CP-140 Aurora long-range patrol aircraft, and recently the Victoria Class submarine HMCS Corner Brook. These military platforms offer powerful surveillance capabilities that can help law enforcement authorities locate, track, and intercept illegal activities off North America's coasts.

Background

In mid-April, HMCS Protecteur, an auxiliary oil replenishment ship, and HMCS Calgary, a multipurpose frigate, left their home port of Esquimalt, B.C., en route to join Op Altair in the Middle East.

En route to the Panama Canal, the two ships supported JIATF South surveillance operations in the East Pacific Ocean. Upon passing through the Panama Canal, the two ships joined with HMCS Iroquois and together the task group supported JIATF South surveillance operations in the Caribbean Basin.

After leaving the Caribbean Basin, the Canadian Task Group will sail to the Middle East to join Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150), a naval coalition task force that Canada will command from June to September 2008. Commodore Bob Davidson will command up to 10 ships from several contributing nations.

Contact Information

  • Note to editors: Requests for interviews with a
    Task Group spokesperson can be directed to
    The National Defence Media Liaison Office
    1-866-377-0811
    www.canadacom.forces.gc.ca