Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships (HMCS) Summerside and Moncton return to Halifax today following NEPTUNE TRIDENT 17-01, a two-month deployment to West Africa, working with allies and partners to build relationships and strengthen maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea.
During their deployment, HMCS Summerside and Moncton, a detachment of personnel from the Royal Canadian Navy’s Maritime Tactical Operations Group (MTOG), and a cadre of liaison and support staff also participated in OBANGAME EXPRESS 17, a 12-day, U.S. Naval Forces Africa-led training event that included maritime security partners from more than 20 countries in West Africa. This was the first time Canada has sent a contingent to participate in this multinational maritime security event.
The Canadian warships, which operated with an integrated crew of regular force, reserve force, and MTOG personnel, also supported Global Affairs Canada objectives throughout the region with visits to Senegal, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Côte d’Ivoire. HMCS Summerside and Moncton collaborated with a number of non-governmental organizations to encourage the participation of girls and women in non-traditional roles, to promote a lifelong commitment to literacy and education, and to bolster community efforts of environmental stewardship.
“I have learned time and again that the best of Canada can be represented in distant waters through the young sailors of the Royal Canadian Navy. I have received nothing but positive feedback on the assistance rendered by our personnel in Western Africa. They established meaningful contacts for future engagement, and planted the seeds for improved sovereignty protection as the coastal states strive to work together to combat overfishing, pollution, crime, and emergencies at sea. Ashore and in the communities visited, our sailors were exceptional ambassadors of Canada, reinforcing what a navy does for its nation.”
Rear Admiral John Newton, Commander Joint Task Force Atlantic and Commander Maritime Forces Atlantic
HMCS Summerside and Moncton departed Halifax on February 18, and have travelled approximately 12,539 nautical miles.
During Neptune Trident 17-01, HMCS Summerside and Moncton conducted several goodwill port visits aimed at fostering relationships and improving cooperation with regional partners. Port visitsincluded stops in:
Tenerife, Canary Islands
Freetown, Sierra Leone
Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire
OBANGAME EXPRESS is an annual, maritime security event designed to improve coastal state cooperation and increase maritime security for thousands of miles of the West African coastline centered on the Gulf of Guinea. This year’s serial took place from March 22 to 31. Obangame comes from the Fang language spoken in a number Central African countries and means “togetherness.”
During OBANGAME EXPRESS 17, boarding specialists from MTOG instructed and mentored regional partners in maritime interdiction operations and provided guidance on ways to enhance partner boarding, and search and seizure techniques. HMC Ships Summerside and Moncton participated in boarding scenarios, demonstrated small boat, gunnery and radio procedures during day sails with participating African nations and conduced short-term personnel exchanges in order to foster mutual understanding and situational awareness at sea.