Operation SIRIUS

Canadian Ship Joins Campaign Against Terrorism in Mediterranean Sea

OTTAWA - The Halifax-class patrol frigate HMCS Montréal began operating in the Mediterranean Sea on February 22 in support of the NATO coalition campaign against terrorism mission known as Operation Active Endeavour. The Canadian Forces participation in Operation Active Endeavour is named Operation SIRIUS.

With her crew of about 225 officers and sailors, and her CH-124 Sea King helicopter detachment, HMCS Montréal and other ships from the Standing NATO Response Force Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1), will conduct surveillance patrols and maritime interdiction operations until late March in order to control sea-based activity in the region.

"Canada has made a commitment to work with our NATO allies in the international campaign against terrorism, and the deployment of HMCS Montréal shows our continuing support to international peace and security," said Defence Minister Bill Graham.

"HMCS Montréal's officers and crew can be very proud of their contribution to this NATO campaign," said Chief of the Defence Staff General Rick Hillier. " They are Canada's face to our allies."

On January 13, HMCS Montréal sailed from Halifax to join the SNMG1 for a six-month deployment. This is the inaugural operation of the SNMG1, which replaced the former Standing Naval Force Atlantic (STANAVFORLANT).

NATO has conducted maritime operations under Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR since October 2001 to deter, monitor and intercept potential threats of terrorism in the Mediterranean Sea, to defend its member nations against terrorists operating at sea, and to demonstrate resolve and presence in the campaign against terrorism.

From mid-October to mid-December 2004, more than 65 Canadian Forces (CF) personnel and two CP-140 Aurora maritime patrol aircraft were deployed to Sigonella, Italy, on Operation SIRIUS as Canada's contribution to Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR.

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