Operation ARTEMIS (Middle Eastern waters)

Summary

  • Operation ARTEMIS is Canada’s contribution to Combined Task Force 150, a multinational effort to combat terrorism and promote maritime security in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, and Indian Ocean. Combined Task Force 150 is one of three operation flotillas under the Combined Maritime Forces, which is a United States-led, 33-nation naval coalition based in Bahrain.
  • Operation ARTEMIS promotes maritime security, while also assisting international counter-terrorism efforts and enforcing various United Nations Security Council Resolutions by denying terrorists a risk-free method of conducting operations and transporting personnel, weapons, and narcotics.

Background

  • Operation ARTEMIS is a periodic deployment of up to 375 Canadian Armed Forces personnel, and includes the following activities:
    • Command of Combined Task Force 150, normally four months, and provide personnel in support, every second year, beginning in 2018;
    • Deployment of a Royal Canadian Navy Halifax-class frigate during Canada’s command of Combined Task Force 150, for up to six months, every second year, beginning in 2018;
    • Deployment of staff personnel in support of the Combined Task Force 150 commander when the position is held by another participating nation;
    • Deployment of one CP-140 Aurora Maritime Patrol Aircraft for up to four months per year; and
    • Support for the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2317 (2016) related to the arms embargo and the charcoal ban on Somalia. 
  • In addition, Royal Canadian Navy vessels transiting through Combined Task Force 150’s area of operations are authorized to provide associated support to the Task Force, where possible.
  • There are currently no Canadian Armed Forces members deployed on Operation ARTEMIS. Canada most recently commanded Combined Task Force 150 from December 2018 to April 2019. In support of Canada’s command, Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship Regina and MV ASTERIX were deployed to the Combined Task Force from 26 March to 30 May 2019. [REDACTED]
  • A CP-140 Aurora Maritime Patrol Aircraft was deployed to Operation ARTEMIS from 8 March to 26 April 2019 to provide surveillance support to Combined Task Force 150.
  • Under Canadian leadership and with Australia’s support, Combined Task Force 150 conducted drug seizures in the Arabian Sea totalling 33,000 kg of illicit drugs.                                                         
  • It is anticipated that Canada will provide up to seven staff personnel to support Australia [REDACTED]

Considerations

  • Instability in the Middle East region stems from a number of different actors, conflicts, and crises, which create an environment conducive to activities that support terrorism, both directly and indirectly.
  • The Canadian Armed Forces have been engaged in maritime security in the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean region since 2001. 
  • Canada’s contribution to Combined Task Force 150 is part of Canada’s current defence policy objective to tackle the global terrorist threat. Through Operation ARTEMIS, Canada contributes to efforts to obstruct the financing of terrorism, and also ensures freedom of navigation and free flow of commerce for legitimate activities.
  • The current mandate of Operation ARTEMIS expires on 30 April 2021.
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