Earlier today families and friends gathered at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Esquimalt to welcome home the crew of Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Regina. The ship sailed into port this morning having completed a six-and-a-half month deployment to the Asia-Pacific and the Middle East regions.
HMCS Regina, accompanied by Naval Replenishment Unit Asterix, departed its homeport of Esquimalt on February 6, 2019. The ships initially sailed on Operation PROJECTION working with partner navies and conducting key leader engagements to enhance military co-operation and partnerships in support of Canada’s diplomatic efforts in the Asia-Pacific region. During their time at sea, the ships also supported Operation NEON and ARTEMIS.
“I am so impressed with the crew of HMCS Regina who represented the Royal Canadian Navy’s spectrum of tasks across the globe throughout this deployment. We supported a Canadian-led task force that deterred and disrupted the flow of narcotics in the Northern Arabian Sea, contributed to United Nations Security Council Resolutions enforcing sanctions on North Korea, and integrated with our Allies for cooperative deployments and high-end exercises such as TALISMAN SABRE 19. It’s a proud day for me seeing them reunited with their families, after all, they’ve accomplished,” stated Commanding Officer HMCS Regina Commander Jacob French in a press release.
During its deployment, HMCS Regina made several port visits, including to Guam and Hawaii in the U.S., Japan, United Arab Emirates, Seychelles, Singapore, Oman, and Australia.
While near Australia HMSC Regina participated in Exercise TALISMAN SABRE, a biennial Australian and the United States bilateral exercise designed to train partner military forces in planning and conducting Combined Task Force operations and to improve the combat readiness and interoperability. This exercise took place from July 11 to 24 in the vicinity of Queensland, Australia and involved approximately 25,000 personnel operating across the maritime, land, and air domains, from Australia, the United States, New Zealand, Japan, and the United Kingdom.
“HMCS Regina’s successful deployment not only demonstrated our ability to operate alongside and integrate with our partner navies in the region, but showed, once again, Canada’s commitment to maintaining a maritime presence in that important region. The excellent work of Regina’s command team and crew over the last several months has had a direct impact on international peace and security, which is why deployments like Operation PROJECTION remain critical to the mandate of the Royal Canadian Navy,” commented Maritime Component Commander Rear-Admiral Craig Baines.
Operation PROJECTION contributes to the Canadian Armed Forces’ persistent maritime presence in the Asia-Pacific region. Operation ARTEMIS supports the Canadian-led Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150). CTF 150 is part of the Combined Maritime Force, which is a naval coalition of 33 partner nations that promotes security and stability in international waters of the Middle East regions.
CTF 150 works to deter and deny terrorist organizations from using the high seas for smuggling weapons, illicit cargo, and narcotics while ensuring the safe passage of merchant ships in some of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.
Operation NEON is Canada’s contribution to a coordinated multinational effort to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council sanctions imposed on North Korea. The imposed UN sanctions aim to pressure North Korea to abandon its weapons of mass destruction programs and respond to North Korean nuclear weapon tests and ballistic missile launches.
This deployment also marked the third operational deployment of a CH-148 Cyclone helicopter and the first deployment of a Cyclone with the Pacific Fleet.
Recently, HMCS Ottawa departed for a four-and-a-half month deployment to the region, replacing HMCS Regina. These deployments demonstrate the Canadian Armed Forces commitment to being a reliable player in the Asia-Pacific region through consistent engagement and strong partnerships.