Two Canadian warships in Canada’s Pacific Fleet are coming home early after operations were cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
HMCS Nanaimo and HMCS Whitehorse were originally supposed to return to the Esquimalt base in mid-May, but are now expected back in early April.
The two ships were in Central America as part of Operation CARIBBE, supporting U.S.-led Operation MARTILLO. As part of this operation, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) sends ships and aircraft to help stop trafficking by organized crime. The operation takes place in the Caribbean basin and the eastern Pacific Ocean.
The spread of COVID-19 is affecting other operations for the Canadian Armed Forces.
Op PROJECTION in Africa has also been cut short, bringing home HMCS Glace Bay and HMCS Shawinigan, which will are now expected to arrive back in Halifax by mid-April.
For Op REASSURANCE, the Maritime Task Force is cancelling all non-operational port visits and ceremonies onboard the ship.
The CAF have more than 2000 personnel deployed on approximately 20 different missions, and is taking increased measures to protect the health and well-being of its members.
They are doing their part to prevent the spread of this disease, and preserve the ability to conduct mission-essential military operations.
No CAF member on deployed operations have tested positive for COVID-19, and the CAF has implemented strict preventative measures on all of our missions for the past few weeks.