Operation ARTEMIS

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Operation ARTEMIS is the Canadian Armed Forces’ participation in counter-terrorism and maritime security operations in the Arabian Sea.

Operation ARTEMIS clearly demonstrates Canada’s solidarity with partners and allies that are working together for peace and security in the maritime environment of the greater Middle East region.

Attention: Update

There are currently no forces deployed on Operation ARTEMIS.

The task force

A task force will be deployed from December 2014 to April 2015 to lead Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150). It will include a team of 24 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members and Department of National Defence civilians. Commodore Brian Santarpia of the Royal Canadian Navy will assume command of CTF-150 during this time.

The Australian Defence Force will also contribute seven Royal Australian Navy officers to this mission. Captain Nicholas Stoker of the Royal Australian Navy will act as Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff.

Mission context

Combined Maritime Forces

Canada is one of 30 nations that contributes naval assets to Combined Maritime Forces, the naval coalition that promotes security and stability in the international waters of the Middle East. This area comprises some of the world’s most important shipping lanes.

Combined Maritime Forces was formed in February 2002 as the coalition headquarters responsible for coordinating and leading naval participation in the international campaign against terrorism. Over the years, its mandate expanded to include counter-piracy operations as part of international efforts to ensure security in the maritime environment of the greater Middle East.

Combined Maritime Forces has its headquarters in Bahrain. It is commanded by the U.S. Navy vice-admiral who is also the commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central (NAVCENT) and the United States Fifth Fleet, both also headquartered in Bahrain. Its deputy commander is a British commodore from the Royal Navy. Canadian Forces staff and liaison officers serve at Combined Maritime Forces Headquarters under Operation FOUNDATION.

Combined Task Force 150

Combined Maritime Forces comprises three operational flotillas, called Combined Task Forces:

  • CTF-150, responsible for maritime security and counter-terrorism;
  • CTF-151, responsible for counter-piracy; and
  • CTF-152, responsible for security and cooperation in the Persian Gulf.

Canada has deployed frigates to operate with CTF-150 since the beginning of Operation ALTAIR in 2004 and with CTF-150’s predecessor, Task Force 150, since 2001 as part of Operation APOLLO.

Past deployments on Operation ARTEMIS

HMCS Regina

HMCS Regina left her home port of Esquimalt, British Columbia on 6 January 2014 and assumed duties in the Arabian sea region on 15 February 2014. On 30 April 2014, HMCS Regina was committed to support NATO reassurance measures in Europe. In early-May 2014, the ship left the Arabian Sea to join NATO Standing Maritime Forces in the Mediterranean Sea.

HMCS Toronto

After a month-long rest and maintenance period, the entire ship’s company was replaced in July 2013 with a second crew – a rare feat for the Royal Canadian Navy. In total, HMCS Toronto I and II steamed approximately 80,000 nautical miles and conducted over 60 boardings. Her CH-124 Sea King helicopter logged more than 700 flying hours, and the unmanned aerial vehicle detachment logged more than 1,200 operational hours. successfully intercepted and destroyed nine narcotics shipments, totalling approximately 8.5 metric tonnes. HMCS Toronto left the Op ARTEMIS Joint Operations Area (JOA) on 6 February 2014.

The Halifax-based patrol frigate HMCS Toronto was deployed on Operation ARTEMIS to serve with CTF-150. She departed her home port of Halifax, Nova Scotia on 14 January 2013. She assumed duties with CTF-150 in the Arabian Sea region on 3 February 2013. HMCS Toronto had a crew of about 250 personnel, which included a CH-124 Sea King helicopter air detachment and a shipboard unmanned aerial vehicle detachment. The crew of HMCS Toronto I successfully completed their deployment on 28 July 2013. They were replaced by the crew of HMCS St. John’s in a crew swap in theatre.

Task Force Northwood

Task Force Northwood was a team of three Royal Canadian Navy personnel deployed in the United Kingdom at the NATO Shipping Centre, part of the Maritime Component Command Headquarters in Northwood, England. Originally deployed between 2009 and 2012 on Operation SAIPH, Task Force Northwood joined as a component of Operation ARTEMIS on 31 May 2012. She was engaged in the multinational effort to ensure the safe passage of merchant shipping through the waters off the Horn of Africa, in the Gulf of Aden and in the Indian Ocean. Task Force Northwood ceased operations in September 2013.

HMCS Regina

The Halifax-class frigate HMCS Regina was deployed on Operation ARTEMIS to serve with CTF-150. She departed her home port of Esquimalt, British Columbia on 3 July 2012 to begin the long transit to the operational area by way of the Pacific Ocean, and joined CTF-150 in the Arabian Sea on 19 August 2012. HMCS Regina has a crew of about 250 personnel, including an embarked air detachment with a CH-124 Sea King helicopter and a shipboard unmanned aerial vehicle detachment. HMCS Regina departed the Op ARTEMIS JOA on 28 January 2013.

HMCS Charlottetown

The Halifax-class frigate HMCS Charlottetown was the first ship deployed on Operation ARTEMIS. She departed her home port of Halifax, Nova Scotia on 8 January 2012 to begin a six-month deployment on Operation METRIC, and joined Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 in the Mediterranean Sea on 25 January 2012 to take part in Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR. HMCS Charlottetown transferred from Op METRIC to Op ARTEMIS on 1 May 2012. HMCS Charlottetown sailed from the Mediterranean Sea via the Suez Canal and joined CTF-150 in the Arabian Sea. HMCS Charlottetown departed the JOA on 24 August 2012.