Operation CARIBBE is Canada's participation in the U.S.-led Operation MARTILLO, a multinational campaign against illicit trafficking by transnational organized crime in the Caribbean Sea and the Eastern Pacific Ocean.
Under this operation, Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) ships and aircraft deploy to the region on a rotational basis to support the U.S. mission to suppress trafficking in international waters and airspace.
HMCS Nanaimo and HMCS Whitehorse will return to Canada earlier than planned from Op CARIBBE due to ongoing concerns of the spread of COVID-19. The ships were originally set to return to their homeport of Esquimalt, British Columbia, in mid-May and they are now expected to arrive in early April.
How many people are deployed?
This operation involves periodic deployments, meaning that ships and aircraft participate in it at different times during the year. The number of CAF members deployed on Operation CARIBBE has varied over time, depending on the number and size of ships and aircraft.
What are they doing?
Canada sends Royal Canadian Navy warships and crews on this mission. They work with the United States Coast Guard (USCG). Canada also sends CP-140 Aurora long-range patrol aircraft from the Royal Canadian Air Force.
The warships find and track vessels of interest. The USCG law enforcement teams then approach and intercept them. The teams then board and inspect the ship and cargo.
CP-140 Aurora aircraft and their crews detect and track vessels and aircraft of interest. They patrol in international airspace. The area covers the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and the eastern Pacific Ocean.
History and context of the operation
Operation CARIBBE began in November 2006. In October 2010, it expanded with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the U.S. and Canada. The MOU allows U.S. Coast Guard teams to operate from Canadian warships.
Canadian Armed Forces’ relationship with US partners
Operation MARTILLO began in January 2012. It covers the Caribbean Sea, the eastern Pacific Ocean, and the international waters off the coast of Central America. Fourteen nations work together to stop illegal trafficking. The United States leads the operation.
There is a large U.S. task force made up from federal departments. These are Homeland Security (mainly the U.S. Coast Guard), Treasury, State and Justice, and Defense.
Joint Inter-Agency Task Force South leads the operation. It reports to United States Southern Command. It brings together other agencies and other countries to reduce illegal trafficking. It also provides all-source intelligence for the operation.
Operation MARTILLO shows that the countries that take part are committed to stopping the threat of large-scale organized crime. It also shows how important it is for law-enforcement agencies to work together and share information.
Past deployments - the results
The Canadian Armed Forces have conducted Operation CARIBBE since 2006 with successive deployments of Royal Canadian Navy ships and Royal Canadian Air Force aircraft.
Over the past thirteen years, the CAF has contributed to the disruption or seizure of approximately 102.7 metric tonnes of cocaine and over 6.7 tonnes of marijuana.
- Teamwork – The key to success on Operation CARIBBE
Link to External Site / April 25, 2018
- HMCS Whitehorse and Edmonton get three drug busts in two weeks on Operation CARIBBE
Link to External Site / April 23, 2018
- HMCS Whitehorse crew stays fit on Operation CARIBBE
Link to External Site / April 19, 2018
- HMCS Whitehorse Chief Cook “takes it up a notch” on Operation CARIBBE
Link to External Site / March 28, 2018
- HMC Ships Whitehorse and Edmonton deploy on Operation CARIBBE
Link to External Site / March 20, 2018
Report a problem or mistake on this page
- Date modified: