Maritime Interdiction Force (MIF) - AUGMENTATION

International Information

International Operation Name: Maritime Interdiction Force (MIF)

International Mission Name: Maritime Interdiction Force (MIF)

Mandating Organization: 
United Nations Security Council Resolution 661, 6 August 1990 (Chapter VII)
United Nations Security Council Resolution 687, 3 April 1991 (Chapter VII)
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1483, 22 May 2003

Region Name: Middle East

Location: Arabian Gulf

Mission Date: 3 April 1991 - 22 May 2003

Canadian Operation:

Op AUGMENTATION (1999) - 18 June to 16 December 1999

Op AUGMENTATION (2000) - 20 June to 30 November 2000

Op AUGMENTATION (2001-1) - 12 January to 1 July 2001

Op AUGMENTATION (2001-2) - 14 March to 14 September 2001

Mandate: To enforce the United Nations Security Council Resolutions authorizing an embargo against Iraq.

Narrative: On 6 August 1990, the United Nations Security Council placed economic sanctions on Iraq after its invasion of Kuwait (resolution 661/1990). At the end of the Gulf War, the Security Council passed resolution 686, calling upon Iraq to comply with provisions concerning the treatment of hostages, prisoners of war and other measures. This was followed by Resolution 687 of 3 April 1991, which indicated that the full trade embargo would remain in place pending periodic reviews every 60 days of Iraqi compliance with the terms of the resolution. Canada decided to continue its participation in the embargo by providing one ship to hail and if required inspect merchant vessels heading towards Iraq. The embargo against Iraq was cancelled by Security Council resolution 1483, 22 May 2003 after the American-led invasion of Iraq.

Since the Gulf War Canada had been participating in the enforcement of the UN Security Council resolutions embargoing specific goods against Iraq. While previous deployments had been given separate operation names, the next series of deployments in support of the Maritime Interdiction Force were given the name Op AUGMENTATION for all four rotations. 

On 18 June 1999, HMCS Regina sailed from Esquimalt towards the Arabian Gulf as part of the USS Constellation Battle Group. The American and Canadian sailors were already familiar with each other, having conducted work-ups together in March and May in preparation for the deployment. Regina and the battle group entered the theatre of operations on 25 August. Over the next months, Regina conducted 97 hailings and 20 boardings of vessels, including two that were non-compliant (where the crew did not wish to allow the boarding), and escorted five violations breakers into port. On the humanitarian side, the ship found two Iranians whose small boat had broken down and had been adrift without food for four days. After repairing the engine and providing meals they were sent on their way. Regina left the operations area on 14 November, reaching Esquimalt on 16 December. 

The next ship to participate in Op Augmentation was HMCS Calgary. The ship left Esquimalt on 20 June 2000. The ship arrived in the operations area on 15 July. Over the next three months and three patrols, the ship conducted 15 hailings and six boardings, before sailing from the theatre of operations on 8 October. On 16 August the Calgary was the on-scene controller for the rescue operations after the crash of helicopter at the Maersk Viking oil platform. The ship returned to Esquimalt on 30 November. 

HMC Ships participated in two Op Augmentation deployments in 2001 with HMCS Charlottetown and HMCS Winnipeg both deploying to the Arabian Gulf. These operations are normally referred to as Op Augmentation 2001-1 and 2001-2 respectively. 

HMCS Charlottetown departed Halifax on 12 January 2001 as part of the USS Harry S Truman Battle Group. This was the first time that an East Coast frigate had deployed with an American Battle Group. The ship entered the theatre of operations on 24 April and left on 15 June. In the intervening period, the ship conducted two patrols involving 151 hailings and 52 boarding, all of the latter with the cooperation of the ships involved. Charlottetown returned to Halifax on 1 July. 

While Charlottetown was still deployed, HMCS Winnipeg was tasked to deploy to the Arabian Gulf. Winnipeg departed Esquimalt on 14 March for operations in the Arabian Gulf as part of the USS Constellation Battle Group. After arriving in the operations area on 30 April, Winnipeg's tour in the Gulf was very busy, as was her sister ship. In five patrols the ship conducted 194 hailings, 57 compliant boardings and 4 non-compliant boardings. In addition there were health and comfort inspections of 162 ships. Winnipeg left the operations area on 10 August, arriving in Esquimalt on 14 September. 

With the start of Operation APOLLO, the Campaign Against Terrorism after the September 11th attacks, Op Augmentation ceased. Further Canadian naval deployments to the Indian Ocean and Arabia Gulf and Sea would be under Op Apollo. In all, about 1000 sailors and airmen participated in Op Augmentation.


Description: A CH 124 Sea King helicopter peels away from the HMCS CHARLOTTETOWN in the Arabian Gulf. Both the CHARLOTTETOWN and HMCS WINNIPEG were together briefly just as the former's mission ended and the latter's mission began. HMCS WINNIPEG is sailing in the Arabian Gulf as part of OP AUGMENTATION with a US Battle Group led by the USS CONSTELLATION Aircraft Carrier, to enforce UN sanctions against Iraq.

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