On December 19, 2023, the Minister of National Defence, announced that Canada will participate in Combined Maritime Forces’ (CMF) Operation PROSPERITY GUARDIAN, a United States-led operation announced by the Secretary of Defense, Lloyd J. Austin III.
The operation has been stood up to protect the free flow of commerce and safety of navigation into the Red Sea and Western Gulf of Aden, through which one-sixth of the global economic trade passes.
The Red Sea is a crucial artery for the world economy. Anchored by two strategic waterways – the Suez Canal and the Bab-al-Mandeb – impacts to the free flow of commerce have a cascading negative economic impact. The 1958 Convention on the High Seas protects the freedom of navigation on the high seas for all States. Safeguarding this widely-accepted law bolsters the rules-based international order, as Canada is committed to doing. Under this operation, international naval forces will patrol the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden providing assurance to the maritime industry, deterring illegal activity and the threat to safe navigation and international freedoms.
The Canadian Armed Forces are deploying three staff officers to support the operation. These CAF members will deploy as early as next week under Operation ARTEMIS – the CAF operation in support of peace and security in Middle East waters. As part of Operation ARTEMIS, the CAF periodically deploys ships and aircrafts, as well as land-based support, to work with our international partners to help secure the region.
Through its contributions to the Combined Maritime Forces under Operation ARTEMIS, Canada seeks to support the rules-based international order and ensure the security of some of the world’s busiest and most vital waterways.