Canadian frigate joining Caribbean drug patrols

The HMCS Ottawa has left Esquimalt, British Columbia, to campaign against drug traffickers in the Caribbean.

The Halifax-class frigate, with a crew of approximately 220 crew members, will work with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, and other regional partners in a support role to locate and track vessels of  interest, said the Canadian government.

“Our forces have established long-standing relationships and enhanced cooperation and interoperability with our allies and partners in the region,” said Peter MacKay, minster of National Defence. “HMCS Ottawa will work with her partners to deter and deny
transnational organized crime from using merchant shipping lanes for smuggling illicit cargo.”

Ottawa’s departure marks the start of Canada’s 2013/2014 commitment to Operation Martillo, a multinational, joint, combined,
and interagency effort led by the Joint Interagency Task Force South, involving Western Hemisphere and European nations in the Caribbean basin, eastern Pacific, and littoral waters of Central America.

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