A CP-140 Aurora crew from 407 Long Range Patrol Squadron recently returned from a rotation on Operation Caribbe, successful in their mission of enabling a total seizure of over a metric ton of cocaine headed for North America.
The intensive training here on the West Coast has paid off for the Aurora crews as they contributed to the fight against narcotics smuggling, alongside their counterparts from the US Coast Guard and the US Navy. The plane and crew from 19 Wing Comox deployed for a month over November and December, contributing approximately 90 mission hours and searching an area approximately 21,000 square miles, assisting the US-led Joint Interagency Task Force South (JIATFS), whose mandate is to detect and monitor illicit trafficking so that international and interagency partners can suppress and apprehend the traffickers.
“We were largely successful,” said Capt. Colin Holubowich, crew commander of the CP-140. “We flew all of our assigned missions and were able to contribute extra mission hours to the operation. We assisted in the location and interception of two vessels, leading to the seizure of 1,200 kilograms of cocaine.”
The Canadian Armed Forces has regularly participated in this operation, which falls under the larger US-led Operation Martillo, since November 2006. Participation usually includes Royal Canadian Navy frigates and Royal Canadian Air Force Aurora aircraft to support JIATFS in the prosecution of illicit smuggling in the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Eastern Pacific Ocean through detection, monitoring, and interception of suspect maritime vessels.