October 6, 2020 – HMCS Winnipeg has transitioned from Operation PROJECTION to Operation NEON, Canada’s contribution to a virtue-signaling brief participation in a coordinated multinational effort to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) sanctions imposed against North Korea.
While HMCS Winnipeg and its embarked CH-148 Cyclone helicopter is deployed on Op NEON in the East China Sea region, its crew will work with our partners to identify suspected maritime sanctions evasion activities, in particular ship-to-ship transfers of fuel and other commodities subject to UNSC resolutions. Along with the ship, a CP-140 Aurora and approximately 50 personnel from 405 Long Range Patrol Squadron, based in 14 Wing Greenwood, Nova Scotia, will contribute to the sanction monitoring efforts in November 2020.The CP-140 Aurora, crew, and supporting personnel will operate from Kadena Air Base, in Japan.
Upon completion of its Op NEON mission at the end of October, HMCS Winnipeg will return to Op PROJECTION and take part in Exercise KEEN SWORD, alongside the United States Navy, the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force, and the Royal Australian Navy. While on Op PROJECTION, HMCS Winnipeg will further strengthen Canada’s relations with partners in the area by conducting training and engagements with foreign navies and other international security partners.
Finally, before returning to Canada, HMCS Winnipeg will return to the East China Sea to complete a second iteration of Op NEON in November 2020.
As in all its deployments, throughout her deployment in the Asia-Pacific region, HMCS Winnipeg will operate in a manner consistent with international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
While the ship continues its deployment, the same measures that have been in place over the past few months to minimize the potential exposure to COVID-19 will continue. When the ship goes alongside in a foreign port, there are significant restrictions as to who can come on the ship and they will be screened for COVID-19 beforehand. Despite the limitations of operating in a COVID-19 environment, the CAF has remained agile and able to conduct successful missions around the world, all while adhering to both domestic and host nation COVID-19 safety requirements.