HMCS Calgary has record-breaking success on Operation Artemis

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Navy News / June 25, 2021

On June 14 HMCS Calgary finished off a very successful two-month rotation of Operation Artemis where, working with the 34-nation Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) and the Canadian-led Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150), the ship conducted maritime interdiction operations intended to stop the flow of illicit revenue to regional criminal and terrorist organizations.

HMCS Calgary set two records while performing on this mission. Their 17 successful counter-narcotics seizures were the most any single ship has made on any rotation in the history of CMF – setting the record not only in terms of number of seizures, but also in terms of weight of narcotics seized and wholesale dollar value. The ship also set the record for the largest single heroin seizure in CMF history.

“Our success was truly a team effort both at the ship-level and at the operational level,” said Commander Mark O’Donohue, Commanding Officer of HMCS Calgary. “While we are very proud of our success as a ship, we always try to keep in mind that this success was accomplished within the framework of great support from CTF-150 and other organizations in the Canadian Armed Forces.”

While on Op Artemis, the ship worked with the support of CTF-150 headquartered in Bahrain, a Royal Canadian Air Force CP-140 Aurora aircraft, and the ship’s embarked CH-148 Cyclone helicopter to detect suspicious vessels at sea, following a rigorous process in accordance with applicable domestic and international law. When deemed appropriate, HMCS Calgary sent a boarding team to embark the vessels and seize illicit goods. These boardings were mostly conducted by the ship’s embarked Naval Tactical Operations Group team, callsign ‘Reef’, however, the ship’s organic boarding team, callsign ‘Alpha Wave’, conducted boardings during the latter part of the operation.

While on Op Artemis, HMCS Calgary worked and conducted exercises with United States Navy, Pakistani Navy, and French naval assets. Another highlight of the operation was when the ship made the time to stop and rescue a sea turtle that was stuck in tangled fishing nets that were adrift at the sea.

The ship now moves on to the second leg of Operation Projection. The major highlight of this will be participation in Exercise Talisman Sabre in late July. The ship is set to return to Esquimalt in early September.

“I want to make sure that everyone back home knows how much we appreciate the support we’ve been getting. Our success is your success and we can’t wait to be reunited with everyone when we return,” said Cdr O’Donohue.