Operation ARTEMIS is the Canadian Forces’ current participation in maritime security and counter-terrorism operations in the Arabian Sea.
Operation ARTEMIS clearly demonstrates Canada’s solidarity with partners and allies as we continue to work together for peace and security in the maritime environment of the greater Middle East region.
Task Forces deployed on Operation ARTEMIS
Task Force Toronto
Commanding Officer: Commander Jeff Hamilton
The Halifax-based patrol frigate HMCS Toronto is currently deployed on Operation ARTEMIS to serve with CTF-150, the multinational maritime counter-terrorism force operating in the Arabian Sea. She departed her home port of Halifax, Nova Scotia on 14 January, 2013.
During this deployment, HMCS Toronto’s task will be to detect, deter and protect against terrorist activity by patrolling and conducting maritime security operations in her area of responsibility. Her presence in the Arabian Sea also gives Canada the flexibility and capability to respond quickly to emerging crises in the region.
Like other frigates in the Halifax-class, HMCS Toronto has a crew of about 225 personnel, including a CH-124 Sea King helicopter air detachment as well as a shipboard unmanned aerial vehicle detachment. HMCS Toronto will remain in her area of responsibility until the fall of 2013.
Task Force Northwood
Task Force Commander: Lieutenant-Commander Nick Smith
Task Force Northwood is a team of Royal Canadian Navy personnel. The entire group is deployed in the United Kingdom at the NATO Shipping Centre, part of the Maritime Component Command Headquarters in Northwood, England.
Task Force Northwood is 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. These efforts include:
- liaison between NATO, the European Union and multinational naval forces and the international shipping industry;
- maintenance of a current plot of merchant shipping in the region;
- provision of guidance and advice to the merchant shipping community;
- responsiveness to piracy incidents as they occur; and
- education directed to the merchant shipping industry to promote best management practices that deter piracy.
Originally deployed on Operation SAIPH (2009–2012), Task Force Northwood became a component of Operation ARTEMIS on 31 May 2012.
Combined Maritime Forces
Canada is one of 26 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 provided the Task Force Commander and flagship in 2008, also under Operation ALTAIR.
Past deployments on Operation ARTEMIS
Task Force Regina
Commanding Officer: Commander Jason Boyd
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 Reginahas a crew of about 250 personnel, including an embarked air detachment with a CH-124 Sea King helicopter. HMCS Regina left her area of responsibility on 28 January, 2013.
Task Force Charlottetown
Commanding Officer: Commander Wade Carter
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. Transferred to Operation ARTEMIS on 22 April 2012, HMCS Charlottetown completed her transit from the Mediterranean Sea via the Suez Canal on 3 May 2012 and joined CTF-150 in the Arabian Sea, where she remained until 24 August 2012.
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