NAS Whidbey Island conducts joint training with Coast Guard, Canada

NAS Whidbey Island participated in an exercise Feb. 17 and 18 in the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Naval Air Station Whidbey Island participated in a two-day joint exercise with the U.S. Coast Guard and the Royal Canadian Navy on Feb. 17 and 18, in the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Salish Sea, according to a Coast Guard press release.

NAS Whidbey Island’s participating unit, a P-8 Poseidon fixed-wing aircraft, joined four Coast Guard units and two Royal Canadian Navy coastal defense vessels. The training was conducted to prepare Royal Canadian Navy crews for deployments to support United States counter-narcotics operations in the Caribbean Sea and eastern Pacific Ocean.

Canadian Armed Forces ships and aircraft regularly deploy to the Caribbean and eastern Pacific regions on a rotational basis to support the United States mission to suppress drug trafficking in international waters. This augmentation to the United States counter-narcotics mission helps to prevent illicit narcotics from reaching illegal markets in both the United States and Canada, and reaffirms the enduring partnership between the two nations. Over the past 15 years, CAF assets and crews have contributed to the disruption or seizure of more than 123 tons of cocaine.

During a deployment scheduled for later this spring, the Canadian vessels involved in the training will work closely with the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Navy. This exercise effectively developed collaborative interdiction tactics, communication capabilities, and ensured that the Royal Canadian Naval vessels and crews are ready to integrate with their United States counterparts.