Esquimalt-based naval vessels join Operation Caribbe

Two Esquimalt-based Canadian naval vessels are on their way to take part in a multinational campaign to combat criminal organizations in the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean.

HMCS Edmonton and HMCS Saskatoon, Kingston-class coastal defence vessels, departed Friday to participate in Operation Caribbe 2016.

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As part of Caribbe, Canada is contributing ships and aircraft to Operation Martillo, a joint effort by Canada, the United States, France, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom to prevent illicit trafficking in the Caribbean sea, the eastern Pacific Ocean, and the coastal waters of Central America.

Canadian warships participating in Operation Caribbe, which the Armed Forces has conducted since 2006, act in a support role by locating and tracking vessels of interest.

During Operation Caribbe 2015, HMCS Brandon and HMCS Whitehorse were involved in the seizure of more about 9,800 kilograms of drugs.

HMCS Whitehorse, another coastal defence vessel, departed Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt on Monday to conduct patrols and outreach along the B.C. coast.

It is scheduled to return in early March.

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