Pubdate: Mon, 27 Feb 2017
Source: Lookout (CN BC)
Copyright: 2017 The Lookout
Author: Peter Mallett


HMCS Saskatoon deployed Feb. 20, beginning its latest contribution to
Operation Caribbe, Canada's decade-long contribution to the
multinational campaign against illicit trafficking by transnational
organized crime in the Caribbean sea and the eastern Pacific Ocean.

The Kingston-Class Maritime Coastal Defence Vessel and its crew are
fulfilling Canada's commitment to Operation Martillo - the
United-States led multinational effort among Western Hemisphere and
European nations aimed at drug interdiction and counter smuggling
operations in the area.

"By preventing the flow of illicit drugs and denying unlawful access
to the sea, our sailors are effectively interrupting a major funding
source for organized crime," said Lieutenant-Commander Todd Bacon,
Commanding Officer HMCS Saskatoon. "Our mission success during these
operations is a result of the continued support our sailors receive
from their family, friends and colleagues back home."

It's the second time in 12 months Saskatoon has participated in
Operation Caribbe. On March 19, 2016, Saskatoon assisted members of
the United States Coast Guard in the seizure of 10 bales of cocaine
weighing approximately 360 kilograms. The drugs had been dumped in the
water by a fishing boat before it fled the scene. That bust was part
of the Royal Canadian Navy's contribution to the seizure and
disruption of 5,570 kg of cocaine and 1,520 kg of marijuana in 2016,
and 66 metric tonnes of cocaine and four metric tonnes of marijuana
over the past 10 years.

Canadian warships deployed on Operation Caribbe, along with CP-140
Aurora aircraft from the Royal Canadian Air Force, act in a support
role, locating and tracking vessels of interest. The annual operation
directly supports the Canadian Armed Forces' mission to defend against
threats and security challenges to Canada's international defence and
security partners.

"Our people are amongst the most highly educated and trained sailors
in the world; they are the competitive advantage in combatting
terrorism and piracy, conducting fisheries patrols and drug
interdictions," said Rear-Admiral Art McDonald, Commander Maritime
Forces Pacific.
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