Cooperative Engagement in the Pacific Ocean

Canadian sailors and members of the U.S. Coast Guard in a small inflatable boat approach a larger ship and prepare to climb up on board.
Crewmembers from HMCS WHITEHORSE and members from the U.S. Coast Guard practice manouevres in a Rigid Hulled Inflatable Boat (RHIB), in the Pacific Ocean during Operation CARIBBE on March 27, 2019. Photo: OP CARIBBE Imagery Technician, HMCS WHITEHORSE XC06-2019-0005-004 ~ Des membres de l’équipage du NCSM Whitehorse et de la garde côtière américaine s’entraînent à l’exécution de manœuvres à bord d’une embarcation pneumatique à coque rigide (RHIB), durant l’opération CARIBBE dans l’océan Pacifique, le 27 mars 2019. Photo : Technicien en imagerie de l’Op CARIBBE, NCSM Whitehorse XC06-2019-0005-004


By Capt Annie Morin, Public Affairs Officer on Operation CARIBBE

Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships (HMCS) Yellowknife and Whitehorse are keeping busy during their transit to begin Operation CARIBBE, Canada’s contribution to the interdiction of illicit trafficking under a U.S. Joint Interagency Task Force South.

During an exercise at sea, HMCS Yellowknife and Whitehorse sailed in concert with Armada de Mexico Hidalgo from the Mexican Secretaria de Marina, the United States Coast Guard Cutter Terrell Horne, and the United States Ship Independence in order to exercise their interoperability.

The exercise took place on March 26, 2019 in the Pacific Ocean. The goals of the day-long exercise were to enable the crews of the participating ships a training opportunity to operate at close proximity by sailing in various formations, communicate effectively between ships, and also create a social engagement with the exchange of personnel from every ship.

“This activity allowed Mexican, American and Canadian defence partners the opportunity to strengthen the relationships necessary to defend North America,” said Lieutenant-Commander Donald Thompson-Greiff, HMCS Yellowknife’s Commanding Officer.  “As part of the event, our junior sailors had the opportunity to visit the vessels of SEMAR, the USCG and the USN to gain a better understanding of how each of our respective nations live and work underway. This comradery builds mutual confidence and understanding so we are better prepared to support and integrate during operations.”

Canada, along with Mexico and the United States are participants in the overall effort to conduct maritime operations with an aim to degrade the threat networks and disrupt illicit movements within the nations’ shared maritime environment.

The passage exercise was a cooperative engagement and the capstone event of the cooperative deployment utilizing the protocols as set within the North American Maritime Security Initiative (NAMSI), a tri-lateral forum among Canada, Mexico, and the United States to strengthen operational effectiveness in the pursuit of maritime security.

Image gallery

  • Canadian sailors and members of the U.S. Coast Guard in a small inflatable boat approach a larger ship and prepare to climb up on board.
  • A Canadian sailor on board a ship passes a rope down to Canadian sailors and members of the U.S. Coast Guard in a small inflatable to help them climb aboard the larger ship.
  • A Canadian ship sails the Pacific Ocean on a grey day.
  • A small Canadian inflatable boat approaches a U.S. Coast Guard ship in the Pacific Ocean. A Mexican ship sails in the background.
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