This weekend, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) is marking its 10th year of Operation CARIBBE. Since 2006, the Royal Canadian Navy and the Royal Canadian Air Force have been credited with supporting the seizure or disruption of more than 66 metric tonnes of cocaine and just under 4 metric tonnes of marijuana.
In 2016 alone, CAF assets and personnel directly contributed to the seizure or disruption of approximately 5,750 kg of cocaine and 1,520 kg of marijuana.
Operation CARIBBE is Canada's participation in Operation MARTILLO, a U.S. Joint Interagency Task Force South-led multinational effort among Western hemisphere and European nations to prevent illicit trafficking in the Caribbean Sea, the Eastern Pacific Ocean, and off the coast of Central America.
“In my 11 years as a police officer, I’ve seen first-hand the harm done to our communities by organized crime and drug trafficking. Every disruption to the flow of illicit drugs off the coasts of Central and South America means a loss to the organized crime organizations that intend to distribute these drugs in North America. More importantly, it means there are fewer drugs making it to Canadian streets. On behalf of the citizens of Canada, I thank all the members of the Canadian Armed Forces and our allies who participated in Operation CARIBBE during the past 10 years for their efforts and their success in preventing any of those 66,000 kilos of drugs from ever reaching our streets.”
Harjit Sajjan, Defence Minister
"I congratulate every member of the Canadian Armed Forces who has deployed and contributed to 10 successful years of Operation CARIBBE. Their efforts have reduced the amount of illicit drugs entering North America. These members and their families deserve our gratitude for their sacrifices and for putting themselves in harm’s way in order to make the hemisphere and our homes safer places.”
Lieutenant-General Stephen Bowes, Commander, Canadian Joint Operations Command
"The Canadian Armed Forces are stalwart partners in our efforts to stop the drug trade. This year, and for the past decade, our Coast Guard law enforcement teams have meshed seamlessly with Royal Canadian Navy crews to perform arduous patrols in drug transit zones that result in the seizure of tons of cocaine and apprehension of scores of suspected smugglers. I'm extremely proud of these front-line crews who deny transnational criminal smuggling organizations billions of dollars in resources and may help curtail the thousands of cocaine related deaths reported each year."
Rear Admiral Todd Sokalzuk, Commander of the U.S. Coast Guard's 11th District - Eastern Pacific Region
• Since October 2016, the CAF contributed three Kingston-class Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels to Operation CARIBBE: Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships Kingston, Brandon, and Edmonton. The latter two will be returning to their home port of Esquimalt, British Columbia in mid-December. A CP-140 Aurora long range patrol aircraft also took part.
• Between February and April 2016, Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships Moncton, Summerside, Edmonton, and Saskatoon also deployed on Operation CARIBBE.
• During the 10 years of Operation CARIBBE, the Royal Canadian Navy deployed ships and submarines 63 times and sailed for a total of 1,881 days in direct support of the mission, each time working closely with the United States Coast Guard, the United States Navy and other allied warships and aircraft.
• In the past 10 years of Operation CARIBBE, the Royal Canadian Air Force deployed CP-140 Aurora long range patrol aircraft 39 times and flew a total of 2,138 hours, providing important surveillance, detection, and disruption capabilities.
• Operation CARIBBE is one of the many activities undertaken by the Government of Canada and DND/CAF as part of Canada's broader commitment to engagement in the Americas. This annual operation directly supports the CAF's mission to defend against threats and security challenges to Canada, North America, and our defence and security partners.
• The Canadian Armed Forces have conducted Operation CARIBBE since November 2006 and remain committed to working with Western Hemisphere and European partners to address security challenges in the region and successfully disrupt illicit trafficking operations.
Joint Interagency Task Force South, a subordinate command of United States Southern Command, oversees the detection and monitoring of illicit traffickers and assists US and multinational law enforcement agencies with the interdiction of illicit traffickers