HMCS Edmonton breaks record of total illicit substance disruption on Operation CARIBBE

Drug packages are recovered during a drug traffic distruption during Operation CARIBBE on the 06 November 2018. Photo: OP CARIBBE, Imagery Technician, HMCS Edmonton XC07-2018-0009-129

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Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Edmonton disrupted an estimated 758 kilograms of cocaine from a suspected smuggling vessel during her fourth disruption, mid-November while deployed on Operation CARIBBE. This disruption breaks the ship’s record for total seizures and amount of contraband disrupted.

Operation CARIBBE is Canada’s contribution to Operation MARTILLO, a United States Joint Interagency Task Force South (JIATF-S) operation responsible for conducting interagency and international detection and monitoring operations and facilitating the interdiction of illicit trafficking. HMC Ships Moncton, Edmonton, and Nanaimo and two CP-140 Aurora aircrafts are conducting patrols this fall.

HMCS Edmonton, operating in the region with an embarked U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET), received information on a Target of Interest (TOI) with three persons on board and information on the vessel’s location from a maritime patrol aircraft. A Naval Combat Information Operator (NCI Op) onboard the HMCS Edmonton used this location information to vector the Edmonton onto the suspect vessel. “When air support was no longer available, I started using the ship’s long-range radar to locate and track the TOI,” explained the junior NCI Op.

After receiving permission to board the vessel from the United States Coast Guard 11th District, the LEDET deployed with HMCS Edmonton crew members in an interceptor boat and seized approximately 728 kilograms of cocaine discovered on the vessel.

“I felt so accomplished when our Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat was launched and the United States Law Enforcement Detachment was able to board the TOI,” said the junior NCI Op. “I love knowing that HMCS Edmonton was an essential part of disrupting such a large quantity of cocaine during this Operation”.

The detainees were transferred to a United States Coast Guard Cutter.

“My crew has broken the record for the most number of busts on a deployment and the largest volume of contraband disrupted in HMCS Edmonton’s history. I am incredibly proud of them and I could not have asked for anything more,” said HMCS Edmonton’s Commanding Officer Lieutenant-Commander Kristina Gray. “They are an exceptional group of sailors. They have been challenged and pulled through together despite several obstacles. Their resiliency and dedication has not faltered throughout the entire deployment.”

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