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HMCS Winnipeg to Take Part in Op NEON in the East China Sea


Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Winnipeg has transitioned from Operation PROJECTION to Operation NEON, Canada’s contribution to 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 its 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.

“As a Pacific nation, Canada continues to work with our partners and allies in the Asia-Pacific to maintain peace and security in the region. Canada fully supports the United Nations Security Council sanctions against North Korea and we will continue to work with our allies and partners in pursuing our common objective of a secure and stable Korean Peninsula.” The Honourable Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defence

“The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) has been operating in the Asia-Pacific region for decades. The presence of HMCS Winnipeg and a CP-140 Aurora not only provides us with the opportunity to work with partner nations to enhance military cooperation, help build trust, and bolster partnerships, but also demonstrates our commitment to international security in the region, and the importance of upholding the United Nations Security Council sanctions regime against North Korea.

“The ship’s company of HMCS Winnipeg has worked tirelessly demonstrating utmost professionalism with our international partners during Operation PROJECTION, and I know they will continue to do so during Operation NEON.” Rear-Admiral Brian Santarpia, Maritime Component Commander



Operation NEON is Canada’s contribution to a coordinated multinational effort to support the implementation of UNSC sanctions imposed against North Korea. These UNSC sanctions aim to pressure North Korea to abandon its weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs and respond to North Korean nuclear weapon tests and missile launches.

As part of Operation NEON, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) deploys a RCN Halifax-class frigate with embarked Maritime Helicopter detachment, a Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CP-140 Aurora with crew and supporting personnel on a rotational basis. This is the third time the CAF has deployed personnel since the start of Operation NEON in 2019.

Canada’s participation in this multinational initiative is a demonstration of our commitment to supporting peace and security on the Korean Peninsula. North Korea’s ongoing efforts to evade UNSC sanctions undermines the effectiveness of the global sanctions regime and provides the country with the resources necessary to further develop weapons of mass destruction, and ballistic missiles.

Operations PROJECTION and NEON demonstrate Canada’s ongoing commitment to global peace and security and the rules-based international order. The deployment of HMCS Winnipeg to the Asia-Pacific region contributes to making the world more secure and stable. It also shows how the RCN and RCAF are ready to support Canada’s interests around the world.

HMCS Winnipeg is deploying with an embarked helicopter air detachment operating a CH-148 Cyclone helicopter. The Cyclone can be used for surface and sub-surface surveillance, search and rescue missions, tactical transport, and more.

The CP-140 Aurora supports a wide variety of roles including operations management and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions.

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