March 6, 2017 – Esquimalt, British Columbia – National Defence / Maritime Forces Pacific
Her Majesty’s Canadian (HMC) Ships Winnipeg and Ottawa departed Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt today for the Indo-Asia-Pacific region for the Royal Canadian Navy’s POSEIDON CUTLASS 17 deployment.
POSEIDON CUTLASS 17 will include numerous opportunities to exercise with regional partner navies at sea, as well as in key events and engagements in ports across the region. These activities foster relationships, friendships, and ultimately, trust. Importantly, warship deployments such as this also place sea-based capability “in-region”, where it can provide options for the Government of Canada should a timely Canadian response be necessary; as was the case recently when HMCS VANCOUVER provided relief afterNew Zealand’s earthquake last year.
This near six-month deployment of multiple warships signals the strategic importance of the Indo-Asia-Pacific region to Canada and reinforces Canada’s commitment to the maintenance of regional peace and security.
“This deployment is an example of Canada’s enduring commitment to the maintenance of regional peace and security in the strategically important Indo-Asia-Pacific region. I’m confident that HMC Ships Winnipeg and Ottawa will be well-received as capable expressions of Canadian interest and contribution. All Canadians can be proud of the impressive ambassadors that our sailors will be, as well as of the world-class support we’ll afford them and their families during another period of great personal sacrifice.”
Rear-Admiral Art McDonald, Commander, Maritime Forces Pacific
“I am enthusiastic about the Royal Canadian Navy’s ‘generate forward’ concept and the opportunity for HMC Ships Winnipeg and Ottawa to strengthen our partnerships with Indo-Asia Pacific nations during the POSEIDON CUTLASS 17 deployment. Operating with international partners will provide incredibly valuable training and improve interoperability, while continuing to generate increased readiness in embarked soldiers, sailors, and airmen and women.”
Commander Jeff Hutchinson, Commanding Officer, HMCS Winnipeg
“The crew of HMCS Ottawa has been working tirelessly to prepare for this deployment and I have every confidence that they will serve as excellent ambassadors for the Royal Canadian Navy while deployed on POSEIDON CUTLASS 17. The team is looking forward to the many training opportunities that we will have alongside our international partners, as well as the opportunity to showcase Canada’s flag across the Indo-Asia-Pacific alongside our shipmates in HMCS Winnipeg.”
Commander Sylvain Belair, Commanding Officer, HMCS Ottawa
During the POSEIDON CUTLASS 17 deployment, HMC Ship’s Winnipeg and Ottawa will make a number of strategic port visits throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific region to countries including the Philippines, Malaysia, India, Sri Lanka, China, South Korea, and Japan.
The RCN “generates forward” by deploying warships and submarines abroad to train and conduct trials. Already at sea, these vessels have the people, tools, skills, and flexibility needed to respond quickly when called upon to support Canada’s priorities in the region, and to provide the government with defence and security options. The ship’s capabilities can be augmented as needed while deployed to meet specialized tasks.
The RCN remains very active internationally by conducting maritime security operations, including intercepting narcotics shipments in the Caribbean and supporting NATO’s assurance and deterrence measures in Central and Eastern Europe. Operation CARIBBE and Operation REASURRANCE are examples of how we protect Canada's interests on the international stage.