Canada has significantly increased its contribution to Operation ARTEMIS, the Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF) ongoing contribution to counter-terrorism and maritime security operations in Middle Eastern and East African waters.
Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Regina, Naval Replenishment Unit (NRU) Asterix, and a CP-140 Aurora aircraft have joined the Canadian-led Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150). CTF 150 is a task force under Combined Maritime Forces, a naval coalition of 33 nations, that promotes security and stability in Middle Eastern and East African waters.
HMCS Regina, along with its embarked CH-148 Cyclone helicopter, and NRU Asterix will work in concert with several other coalition ships to patrol the waters of the Arabian Gulf and off the east coast of Africa, and the CP-140 Aurora will be used to conduct maritime surveillance. All of these efforts are in support of CTF 150’s mandate to enforce maritime security and the free-flow of international trade and commerce in some of the world’s busiest and most challenging waterways.
“The Canadian Armed Forces presence in the Middle East helps set the conditions for the long-term success of our regional partners by enabling them to more effectively plan and execute operations. Canadians can be proud of the leadership of our women and men in uniform in the fight against terrorism and ensuring that international oceans and waterways remain safe and secure.” The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence
“Maritime security is a common interest shared by nations around the world and Canada has a responsibility to its citizens and partners to safeguard the high seas. The Canadian Armed Forces protects Canadian and international waters – making sure that the legitimate global trade that Canada and the world depend on for their respective economies can proceed without threat of terrorism and illegal activities.” Rear-Admiral Craig Baines, Commander Maritime Component Command
“Our combined Canadian-Australian CTF 150 welcomes the arrival of HMCS Regina, NRU Asterix, and the Royal Canadian Air Force to our area of operations. Our team is ready to promote stability in the region by deterring and denying terrorists use of the high seas from illicit activity that funds terrorism.” Commodore Darren Garnier, Commander CTF 150
HMCS Regina and NRU Asterix have joined Operation ARTEMIS after spending the past month and a half on Operation PROJECTION, the Royal Canadian Navy’s deployment to the Asia-Pacific region. When their contribution to Operation ARTEMIS has been completed the ships will return to Operation PROJECTION until the summer 2019.
With the addition of the ships and CP-140 Aurora, Operation ARTEMIS is the CAF’s third largest operation, next to Operation IMPACT (Canada’s support to the Global Coalition to defeat Daesh in Iraq and Syria as well as to NATO Mission Iraq) and Operation REASSURANCE (Canada’s support to NATO in Central and Eastern Europe). Operation ARTEMIS significantly increases the CAF’s footprint in the Middle East and East Africa region.
The Canada-led CTF 150 is supported by personnel from the Royal Australian Navy. The combined nature of this team demonstrates the close relationship between Canada and Australia as well as our shared values and interests.
CTF 150 is one of three multinational naval task forces operated by Combined Maritime Forces:
- CTF 150, responsible for maritime security and counter-terrorism;
- CTF 151, responsible for counter-piracy; and
- CTF 152, responsible for security and cooperation in the Arabian Gulf.
Through maritime security operations, regional engagements and capacity building, CTF 150 works to deter and deny terrorist organizations from using the high seas for smuggling weapons, illicit cargo and narcotics while ensuring the safe passage of merchant ships in some of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.