Cooperative engagement in the Pacific

Crewmembers from HMCS Whitehorse and members from the US Coast Guard practice manouevres in a Rigid Hulled Inflatable Boat in the Pacific Ocean during Op CARIBBE on March 27, 2019. 

Cooperative engagement in the Pacific Ocean

By Capt Annie Morin,

HMC Ships Yellowknife and Whitehorse are keeping busy during their transit to begin Op CARIBBE, Canada’s contribution to the interdiction of illicit trafficking under a US Joint Interagency Task Force South.

During an exercise at sea, Yellowknife and Whitehorse sailed in concert with Armada de Mexico Hidalgo from the Mexican Secretaria de Marina, the US Coast Guard Cutter Terrell Horne, and the US Navy 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 LCdr Donald Thompson-Greiff, 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 camaraderie builds mutual confidence and understanding so we are better prepared to support and integrate during operations.”

Canada, along with Mexico and the US 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, a tri-lateral forum among Canada, Mexico, and the United States to strengthen operational effectiveness in the pursuit of maritime security.