Operations & Exercises | RCAF
Speed, range, and advanced surveillance technology—that’s what the CP-140 Aurora long-range patrol aircraft brings to the table on a mission like Operation CARIBBE, which is Canada’s support to Operation MARTILLO, the US-led counter-trafficking mission in the Caribbean Sea and eastern Pacific Ocean.
Deployed from end-November to mid-December 2017, the Aurora was the third Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) capability to support the operation this fall. Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships (HMCS) Nanaimo and Moncton, both maritime coastal defence vessels, also deployed from October to December.
Whereas ships like Nanaimo and Moncton are tasked with tracking and intercepting suspect vessels for US Coast Guard boarding, the Aurora’s role is to fly long distances and survey areas, using its sensors to capture radar and imagery of suspect vessels. Joint Interagency Task Force South (JIATFS), the US military task force that leads Operation MARTILLO, uses this information to prioritize suspect vessels and send ships to track and intercept them.
“We can see farther and go faster than a ship can,” explains Major Patrick LeBlanc, Air Task Force Commander of Operation CARIBBE. “It boils down to economy of effort for the ship. Instead of the ship having to search large areas, the information we capture can direct them where to go. Based on our range, our capability and our surveillance equipment, we’re a very qualified…