Operation SABOT

Operation SABOT is an operation to stop the illegal growing of marijuana in Canada. It is led by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) supports the operation.  

One of the roles of the CAF within the National Defence Act is to assist law enforcement.  Operation SABOT falls under an agreement between two government departments. These are the Department of National Defence (DND) and the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.  Operation SABOT has been run each year since 1989.

The task force

The CAF supports Operation SABOT with Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) aircraft and crews.  The RCAF helps the RCMP to look for marijuana grow-ops from the air.  The Canadian Joint Operations Command  tasks RCAF crews and aircraft. They are directed through the Joint Force Air Component Commander in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Mission context

The threat

Illicit marijuana growing is profitable for organized crime.  Growing is done in hidden gardens popularly known as “grow-ops”.  Marijuana sales, especially across the U.S. border, are known to finance criminal enterprises.  These include bringing other illicit drugs like cocaine, and weapons, into Canada.

Grow-ops in Canada are found both outdoors and indoors. The typical outdoor grow-op is a garden planted in the centre of a cornfield or in a forest. Tall crops or natural plants and trees hide the marijuana grown in these places.

Indoor grow-ops do not use soil. This is called hydroponic growing. These can be set up in any building that has water and electricity. 

  • Grow-ops can be found in the following areas:
  • Agricultural;
  • Commercial;
  • Industrial; and/or
  • Residential.

The mission

Operation SABOT began in 1989. The CAF has helped since then with RCAF aircraft, crews and surveillance equipment. RCMP officers lead and conduct Operation SABOT patrols. They are fully responsible for all related law-enforcement actions.

Past missions

2016

2016

The CAF gave the RCMP support with air-mobility and surveillance assets. The RCAF sent rotary wing aircraft and crews in Saskatchewan, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

2015

2015

The CAF gave the RCMP support with air-mobility and surveillance assets. The RCAF sent rotary wing aircraft and crews in Saskatchewan, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

2014

2014

The CAF gave the RCMP support with air-mobility and surveillance assets. The RCAF sent rotary wing aircraft and crews in Ontario and Quebec.

2013

2013

The CAF gave the RCMP support with air-mobility and surveillance assets. The RCAF sent rotary wing aircraft and crews in Ontario and Quebec.

2012

2012

The CAF gave the RCMP support with air-mobility and surveillance assets. The RCAF sent rotary wing aircraft and crews in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Alberta and New Brunswick.

2011

2011

The CAF gave the RCMP support with air-mobility and surveillance assets. The RCAF sent rotary wing aircraft and crews in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia.

2010

2010

The CAF gave the RCMP support with air-mobility and surveillance assets. The RCAF sent rotary wing aircraft and crews in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and Nova Scotia.

2009

2009

The CAF gave the RCMP support with air-mobility and surveillance assets. The RCAF sent  rotary wing aircraft and crews in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and Nova Scotia.

2008

2008

The CAF gave the RCMP support with air-mobility and surveillance assets. The RCAF sent rotary wing aircraft and crews in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

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