Canada deploys Aurora Air Detachment to Japan to bolster the integrity of global maritime sanctions against North Korea 

News release

October 19, 2021 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

Today, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, announced the deployment of a CP-140 Aurora Air Detachment under Operation NEON to Kadena Air Base, located in Japan’s Okinawa Prefecture, to support ongoing multinational efforts to counter North Korea’s attempts to evade sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

These global sanctions, designed to pressure North Korea into verifiably and irreversibly abandoning its weapons of mass destruction programs, restrict the transport of fuel and other sanctioned commodities into North Korean ports. Since 2018, Canada has been supporting international efforts to reinforce the UNSC resolutions by deploying military assets in the region. Earlier this year, the Government of Canada extended Operation NEON to 2023.

The CP-140 Aurora is a long-range patrol aircraft used for multiple types of missions over land and water, with a highly trained crew, and is well-suited for this mission. The Aurora Air Detachment will be operating in the region for roughly one month.

The deployment of the Aurora Air Detachment underscores the importance that Canada places on security in the Indo-Pacific region, international security and the importance of upholding the UNSC sanctions regime. It further demonstrates Canada’s resolve in standing with allies and partners in accordance with our national values.


“I want to express my gratitude to Japan and its people for their continued partnership and support in this mission, as well as the warm welcome they provide to our military personnel. Canada is proud to work with Japan, as well as our other partners and allies, to help address the threat to international security that is posed by North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.”

The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence

Quick facts

  • Since 2018, through Operation PROJECTION and now Operation NEON, Canada has periodically deployed CAF ships, aircraft and personnel to conduct surveillance operations as part of the multinational initiative to counter North Korea's evasion of maritime sanctions. 

  • The following Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) ships and Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) aircraft have previously deployed on Operation NEON:

    • HMCS Regina, with an embarked CH-148 Cyclone helicopter, Naval Replenishment Unit (NRU) Asterix and an RCAF CP-140 Aurora Air Detachment deployed in June 2019;
    • HMCS Ottawa with an embarked CH-148 Cyclone helicopter, and CP-140 Aurora Air Detachment deployed in September 2019; and,
    • HMCS Winnipeg with an embarked CH-148 Cyclone helicopter and a CP-140 Aurora Air Detachment deployed in October 2020.
    • HMCS Winnipeg with an embarked CH-148 Cyclone helicopter deployed in September 2021.
  • Kadena Air Base, located in the Okinawa Prefecture of Japan, is the largest United States Air Force base in the eastern part of Asia. 

  • A CP-140 Aurora Air Detachment consists of roughly 40 personnel, including aircrew, technicians, and other mission specialists. 

Associated links


Daniel Minden
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-3100

Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-904-3333

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