Late Thursday afternoon, Canada deployed a Royal Canadian Air Force CP-140 Aurora Air Detachment to Japan to support the implementation of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) sanctions imposed against North Korea. The deployment is part of Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy and demonstrates Canada’s commitment to promoting peace and stability in the region.
As part of Operation NEON, the CP-140 Aurora aircraft will monitor for suspected maritime sanctions evasion activities, particularly ship-to-ship transfers of fuel and other commodities banned by the UNSC. The deployment is expected to last approximately six weeks and emphasizes Canada’s commitment to the security of its allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region.
Lieutenant-General Eric Kenny, Commander RCAF, said that working closely with partners in the Indo-Pacific region has never been more important, and the Canadian Armed Forces have a central role to play in delivering valuable, tangible, high-impact initiatives in the region. The deployment of the Royal Canadian Air Force Air Detachment to the Indo-Pacific will deliver robust capabilities in working with partners to strengthen international cooperation and stability in the region.
The CP-140 Aurora Air Detachment consists of approximately 40 personnel, including aircrew, technicians, and other mission specialists. Equipped with advanced sensors and a range of 7,400 km, the CP-140 Aurora is a pre-eminent long-range patrol aircraft that is well-suited to Operation NEON.
In addition to the CP-140 Aurora deployment, the HMCS Montréal, with its embarked CH-148 Cyclone helicopter, is also en route to the Indo-Pacific region to support both Op NEON and Op PROJECTION, Canada’s ongoing naval forward presence operation in the Indo-Pacific.
Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy, released in November 2022, puts forward an ambitious, comprehensive, and integrated policy framework for Canadian engagement across the Indo-Pacific region. The strategy aims to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific and protect the international rules that keep everyone safe.
The series of UN sanctions, adopted between 2006 and 2017, aims to pressure North Korea to abandon its weapons of mass destruction programs and respond to North Korean nuclear weapon tests and ballistic missile launches. In March 2023, the Government of Canada renewed Operation NEON to April 2026.
The CP-140 Aurora Air Detachment deployment to Japan is Canada’s commitment to upholding UNSC sanctions on North Korea and contributing to regional peace and security. Canada’s actions to support its allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region remain vital to the rules-based international order.
Image source, Gov. of Canada