A naval communicator practices the Morse code with flashing lights onboard Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship MONCTON on November 21, 2017. Photo: 12 Wing Imaging Services

Over the past few weeks, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels deployed on Operation CARIBBE in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, have intercepted and seized large quantities of illicit drugs.

Working in partnership with the United States Coast Guard (USCG), Her Majesty Canadian Ship (HMCS) Moncton on November 11, 2017, stopped a suspect vessel and seized 834 kilograms of cocaine while apprehending three suspected smugglers.

The CAF has played an integral part in the seizure of illicit drugs in direct support of the United States Interagency Task Force South. Since 2006, about 70 metric tons of cocaine were captured through this partnership.

“Operation CARIBBE’s successes are a result of the partnership between allied Forces and our collective dedication to keeping our sea lanes safe from illicit activity while also preventing illegal drugs from entering North America,” said Rear-Admiral Craig Baines, Maritime Component Commander.

Just over a week earlier, in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, HMCS Nanaimo conducted a similar seizure along with USCG law enforcement detachment of 478 kilograms of cocaine and arrested three suspected smugglers.

A member of Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship NANAIMO closes up on the .50 calibre during Operation CARIBBE on October 31, 2017. Image By; MARPAC Imaging Services

To further support the success of HMCS Moncton and Nanaimo, a CP-140 Aurora Long Range Patrol aircraft will be added to the operation to assist in surveillance. With its 17-hour endurance and 4,000 nautical mile (7,400 km) range, the CP-140 is an essential addition to fighting the war on illicit drugs in the region.

“This operation serves as an excellent example of how the Canadian Armed Forces continues to do its part on the international stage to protect our interests and support our allies,” said Lieutenant-General Steven Bowes, Commander Canadian Joint Operations Command.

Source: National Defence