Esquimalt-based HMCS Whitehorse and Nanaimo returned home last Wednesday after a successful anti-drug mission in the Caribbean.
The two ships were part of Operation CARIBBE, Canada’s contribution to the multinational campaign against illicit trafficking in the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean and its approaches, and the eastern Pacific off the coasts of Mexico, Central America, Colombia, and Ecuador.
The combined efforts of Whitehorse and Nanaimo intercepted more than 5,800 kilograms of cocaine, while providing a deterring presence in the international waters of the region.
HMCS Whitehorse, in collaboration with the U.S. Navy, and in support of the U.S. Coast Guard assisted with the seizure of more than 5,200 kilograms of cocaine off the coast of Costa Rica in early March.
HMCS Nanaimo, after being directed to search an area off the coast of Guatemala for suspicious activity on March 10, discovered 50 floating one kilogram packets of cocaine over several miles of ocean.
“All the training that we conducted in preparation for Operation CARIBBE paid off in our collaboration and support of the U.S. Coast Guard. I was fully confident that our crew would perform to the highest standards on this operation and they proved me right,” said Lt.-Cmdr Chris Rochon, commanding officer of HMCS Whitehorse.
HMCS Whitehorse and Nanaimo deployed on Operation CARIBBE for five weeks from Feb. 23 to April 7.