Operation CARIBBE personnel recover bales of illicit drugs that were jettisoned into the Eastern Pacific Ocean during a November, 2016 interception. A Comox 19 Wing team was involved in a similar haul in November of 2019. (Photo: MARPAC Imaging Services)

Comox 19 Wing Aurora crew assists in major cocaine interception during Operation Caribbe

1,200 kilos of cocaine retrieved

  • Feb. 11, 2020 9:30 a.m.

A CP-140 Aurora crew from 407 Long Range Patrol Squadron recently returned from a rotation on Operation Caribbe, successful in their mission of enabling a total seizure of over a metric ton of cocaine headed for North America.

The intensive training here on the West Coast has paid off for the Aurora crews as they contributed to the fight against narcotics smuggling, alongside their counterparts from the US Coast Guard and the US Navy. The plane and crew from 19 Wing Comox deployed for a month over November and December, contributing approximately 90 mission hours and searching an area approximately 21,000 square miles, assisting the US-led Joint Interagency Task Force South (JIATFS), whose mandate is to detect and monitor illicit trafficking so that international and interagency partners can suppress and apprehend the traffickers.

“We were largely successful,” said Capt. Colin Holubowich, crew commander of the CP-140. “We flew all of our assigned missions and were able to contribute extra mission hours to the operation. We assisted in the location and interception of two vessels, leading to the seizure of 1,200 kilograms of cocaine.”

The Canadian Armed Forces has regularly participated in this operation, which falls under the larger US-led Operation Martillo, since November 2006. Participation usually includes Royal Canadian Navy frigates and Royal Canadian Air Force Aurora aircraft to support JIATFS in the prosecution of illicit smuggling in the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Eastern Pacific Ocean through detection, monitoring, and interception of suspect maritime vessels.

ALSO: Sea turtles rescued by Operation Caribbe personnel

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

14 bales of cocaine weighing an estimated 700 kg rest on the sweep deck of HMCS BRANDON after being jettisoned by a suspected smuggling vessel, a small fishing boat known as a panga, off the Pacific coast of Central America during Operation CARIBBE in November, 2016. A 19 Wing Comox unit was involved in a similar Operation CARIBBE haul in November of 2019. Operation CARIBBE is an ongoing international task force aimed at drug interdiction and counter-smuggling operations in the Caribbean Sea and along the Pacific coastline of North, Central and South America. Image By: U.S. Coast Guard

HMCS WHITEHORSE transports seized drugs to a U.S. Coast Guard cutter during Operation CARIBBE on April 13, 2019. A Comox 19 Wing team was involved in a similar haul in November of 2019. Photo: Canadian Armed Forces, Imagery Technician

Just Posted

Pandemic reunites 2000s era Victoria rock band The Origin

Saanich musicians recording for first time since 2008

Local authors nominated for Victoria Book Prize awards

Finalists for 2020 announced in two categories

Patrick brothers who shaped modern hockey also tried, but failed, to remove violence

New history thesis shows efforts to sell a “clean game” in Oak Bay

Central Saanich to formally inform Agricultural Land Commission about soccer pitch proposal

Move is meant for information only with no application having come forward yet

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

POLL: Do you plan on allowing your children to go trick or treating this year?

This popular annual social time will look quite different this year due to COVID-19

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Body discovered floating in water near Lasqueti Island

JRCC reports personnel aboard fishing vessel made the find

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Most Read