Operation SEXTANT

Operation SEXTANT was Canada’s periodic participation from January 2006 to June 2009 in Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG 1), a component of the NATO Response Force (NRF).

SNMG 1 is a permanent naval squadron that usually operates in the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, and can deploy anywhere in the world to respond to crises. In spring 2009, SNMG 1 deployed to the waters off the Horn of Africa to deter and disrupt piracy, and defend transiting merchant vessels against pirates.

SNMG 1 was established in January 2005. It consists of destroyers and frigates from the navies of NATO member nations, under operational command from Allied Maritime Component Command Headquarters in Northwood, England.

Canada’s participation in NATO maritime operations dates from before the establishment of the Standing Naval Force Atlantic (STANAVFORLANT) in 1967. Deployments of Canadian warships to serve with SNMG1 continue under Operation SAIPH.


  • 11 January–30 June 2006: HMCS Athabaskan (as flagship)
  • 1 July–December 2006: HMCS Iroquois (as flagship)
  • 20 July–18 December 2007: HMCS Toronto
  • 17 July–22 December 2008 HMCS Ville de Québec
  • 2 April 2009–2 June 2009: HMCS Winnipeg
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