Operation CARIBBE is Canada's participation in U.S.-led enhanced counter-narcotics operations 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.
On June 2, 2021, HMCS Shawinigan departed to conduct detection and monitoring duties in the Caribbean Basin.
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 USCG teams to operate from Canadian warships.
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 fifteen years, the CAF has contributed to the disruption or seizure of more than 112 tonnes of cocaine.
- Canadian warships help the United States Coast Guard counter illicit trafficking in eastern Pacific Ocean with drug seizures totaling nearly USD $44M
News Release / April 12, 2021
- The road to cocaine seizure on Operation Caribbe
Navy News / May 16, 2019
- Operation CARIBBE during COVID-19
Navy News / November 27, 2020
- 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
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