Harjit S. Sajjan Minister of National Defence, MP for Vancouver South

Ottawa: Canada will extend its commitment to maritime security in the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean with ships and personnel for another four years, says Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan.

He says Operation Artemis, the latest incarnation of Canada’s contribution to a multinational security force in the area, will be extended until the end of April 2021.

The international task force deploys ships and surveillance systems to intercept shipments of weapons and narcotics in the region.

Sajjan said the extension authorizes the Canadian Armed Forces to commit up to 375 personnel to the operation, send in a frigate once every two years and contribute an Aurora patrol plane once a year.

Canada will earmark up to $131.4 million to support the extension.

He says Canada has supported security in the area since 2001 under a number of operations and Canada just completed its third rotation in command of the maritime security task force.

In the last year, this task force seized and destroyed nearly 2,700 kilograms of narcotics and more than 3,000 weapons.

“The government of Canada’s renewed commitment to counter-terrorism efforts is vital to building a safer and more prosperous world,” Sajjan said in a statement.

The Canadian Press