Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Vancouver returned to Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Esquimalt today after a successful six-month deployment.
Since departing CFB Esquimalt in June 2016, HMCS Vancouver has operated extensively in the Pacific region. The warship participated in a variety of exercise opportunities, including RIMPAC and KAKADU, and visited several countries in the Asia-Pacific, fostering relationships with partner navies and promoting peace and security in the region as part of WESTPLOY 16.
When a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck New Zealand’s South Island on November 14, HMCS Vancouver was a key asset in supporting the relief efforts in Kaikoura, helping to repair damaged infrastructure and assisting in the transport of emergency supplies using the ship’s Sea King helicopter.
“Welcome home to the crew of HMCS Vancouver. In your six months at sea, you’ve demonstrated why the sailors of the Royal Canadian Navy are held in such high regard around the world. Not only did you show excellence during exercises, you also displayed outstanding humanity in assisting the people of New Zealand in their time of need. I’m proud of you!”
General Jonathan Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff
“I am so proud to welcome HMCS Vancouver back home to Esquimalt after a productive six months at sea. The ship’s deployment is a clear example of the effectiveness of exercising abroad, combined with the capability and flexibility to respond when called upon by our allies. Through engagement in the region, and the support provided to the people of New Zealand affected by the earthquake, HMCS Vancouver served as an exemplary ambassador for the Royal Canadian Navy.”
Rear-Admiral McDonald, Commander Maritime Forces Pacific
• WESTPLOY 16 provided a unique opportunity for the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) to foster and sustain cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans.
• RIMPAC, conducted from June 30 to August 4, in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California, is the world's largest international maritime exercise, involving 26 nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft, and over 25,000 personnel participating this year.
• KAKADU, held from September 12-24, is a joint, biennial exercise hosted by the Royal Australian Navy and supported by the Royal Australian Air Force, with the following 20 nations participating: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Fiji, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, United States of America, and Vietnam.
• The RCN “generates forward” by deploying warships and submarines abroad to train and conduct trials. Already at sea, these ships have the people, tools, skills, and flexibility needed to respond quickly when called upon to support Canada’s military priorities in the region, and to provide the Government of Canada with defence and security options. The ship’s capabilities can be augmented on site as needed to meet specialized tasks.
• The RCN is one of the most flexible tools for the Government of Canada’s diplomatic and foreign policy. Its missions range from humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to deterrence, anti-terrorism and full combat operations. Its 13,000 full-time and part-time military members and 3,700 civilians are stationed across Canada and are deployed around the world.
• HMCS Vancouver also deployed earlier this year on SOUTHPLOY 16, an important strategic mission to Central and South America, strengthening ties with several nations including Peru, Chile and Mexico, and conducting several high intensity warfare training exercises with allied nations. During this deployment, HMCS Vancouver made history when it became the first modernized Canadian frigate to successfully test surface-to-surface missiles against a shore-based target.
• The RCN remains very active internationally by conducting maritime security operations including intercepting narcotics in the Caribbean and conducting counter-terrorism patrols in the Arabian Sea. Operation CARIBBE, Operation REASSURANCE, and Operation ARTEMIS are examples of how we protect Canada’s interests on the international stage.