It was a Christmas miracle for families in Greater Victoria as navy ships returned home to CFB Esquimalt last week.
Roughly 40 regular and reserve sailors on board HMC ships Brandon and Whitehorse were reunited with their families one week before Christmas.
“There were excited families on the jetty. There were a couple individuals jumping up and down, kids were calling out for their parents,” said Lt.-Cmdr. Desmond James from the Maritimes Forces Pacific. “It was a great Navy day for everyone and they’re home just in time for Christmas which is always a great feeling.”
HMC Brandon and Whitehorse took part in Operation Caribbe, a multinational campaign against illicit trafficking in the eastern Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean. The ships, which worked in tandem, were credited with seizing approximately 9,800 kilograms of narcotics during a 44-day deployment, more than any other duo of vessels during the operation’s history.
“This was a very significant deployment,” James said. “It’s really a one Navy approach and it really shows that we can effectively deploy regular force reserves onto this particular platform and have tremendous success.”
The previous record was help by HMC ships Whitehorse and Nanaimo earlier this year, after they seized 5,934 kg while deployed in the Eastern Pacific.
“These men and women were away from their families doing an important job in a demanding environment,” said Lt.-Gen. Stephen Bowes, Canadian joint operations command.
“Their duty and accomplishment in the protection of Canada makes me immensely proud.”
This year as part of Operation Caribbe, they disrupted approximately 18.5 metric tons of cocaine and three metric tons of marijuana.
The Canadian Armed Forces have conducted Operation Caribbe since November 2006.