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Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Ottawa departed its home-port of Esquimalt, B.C., on Aug. 6, 2019, for a four-and-a-half-month deployment to the Asia-Pacific region on Operations Projection and Neon.
Starting early October, the renewed Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) contribution to the multinational effort in the region will include a Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CP-140 Aurora, along with crew and supporting personnel, operating from Japan as part of Operation Neon. HMCS Ottawa will join the international maritime monitoring mission periodically between late August and mid-November.
Operation Neon is Canada’s contribution to a coordinated multinational effort to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council sanctions imposed on North Korea. The imposed UN sanctions aim to pressure North Korea to abandon its weapons of mass destruction programs and respond to North Korean nuclear weapon tests and ballistic missile launches. This contribution was previously conducted under the banner of Operation Projection Asia-Pacific.
Operation Projection contributes to the CAF’s persistent maritime presence in the region.
This deployment follows a succession of Royal Canadian Navy deployments to the region, the most recent of which was HMCS Regina, supported by Naval Replenishment Unit Asterix and an Aurora, from February to August 2019.
In May 2018, an Aurora was deployed under Operation Projection Asia-Pacific to support surveillance and monitoring activities with partners to counter North Korea’s efforts to evade UN Security Council sanctions through maritime smuggling. These surveillance and monitoring activities included identifying those who violate sanctions and sharing the information with implicated countries and the UN Panel of Experts. This was followed by a deployment of HMCS Calgary and an Aurora in October 2018.