Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Fredericton arrived in Lisbon, Portugal on January 6, 2015 to join Standing NATO Maritime Forces as part of Operation REASSURANCE.
The Royal Canadian Navy frigate is part of Canada’s contribution to NATO-led assurance measures that promote security and stability in Central and Eastern Europe.
“Canada condemns President Putin’s military intervention in Ukraine in the strongest of terms. Sustained, strong and coordinated action among like-minded countries is the best way to ensure that our actions have the maximum impact on the Putin regime and Canada continues to show leadership by making meaningful and enduring contributions to peace and stability in Eastern and Central Europe,” said Minister of National Defence, Rob Nicholson.
HMCS Fredericton is the first modernized high-readiness frigate to deploy overseas in support of Government of Canada objectives. The ship replaces HMCS Toronto, which had been conducting maritime security operations and joint NATO training exercises in the Mediterranean Sea as part of Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2) since August 2014.
“HMCS Toronto’s performance over the last seven months set a high standard for future maritime deployments in the region as her ship’s company consistently provided outstanding service to Canada and her NATO allies in support of NATO assurance measures,” said Lieutenant-General Jonathan Vance, Commander Canadian Joint Operations Command. “HMCS Fredericton will build on these accomplishments, providing the Government of Canada and NATO with a highly versatile and robust maritime asset that can quickly and effectively respond to on-going and emerging NATO requirements.”
These joint NATO training exercises provided important opportunities to strengthen military to military and diplomatic relationships as well as promote shared security principles, defence professionalization and capacity building among the participating nations.
HMC Ships Fredericton and Toronto are both Halifax-class frigates with a crew of approximately 250 personnel of all ranks, including a CH-124 Sea King helicopter and air detachment.
HMCS Fredericton recently completed her modernization frigate life extension (HCM/FELEX) refit in November 2014. The ship has upgraded and enhanced capabilities including a new combat management system, new radar capability, a new electronic warfare system, upgraded communications and missiles, as well as a new integrated platform management system.
HMCS Toronto participated in various joint NATO training exercises as part of its Operation REASSURANCE deployment including Exercises NOBLE JUSTIFICATION, MAVI BALINA and a historic deployment to the Black Sea for Exercise SEA BREEZE.
While operating in the Black Sea, HMCS Toronto led Task Unit 02 (TU.02) of SNMG2, which included the Spanish frigate Almirante Juan de Borbón. TU.02 operated with the Romanian frigate Regele Ferdinand, the American destroyer USS Ross, and with naval vessels from Bulgaria, Georgia, Turkey, and Ukraine.
HMCS Toronto will be returning to Her Majesty’s Canadian Dockyard, Halifax, in late January.
Operation REASSURANCE refers to the military activities under taken by the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) to support NATO assurance measures through the provision of military capabilities for training, exercises, demonstrations and assigned NATO tasks.
Standing NATO Maritime Groups are multinational, integrated maritime forces made up of vessels from various allied countries. These vessels are permanently available to NATO to perform different tasks ranging from exercises to operational missions. They also help to establish Alliance presence, demonstrate solidarity, conduct routine diplomatic visits to different countries, support partner engagement and provide a variety of maritime military capabilities to ongoing missions.
Get More! Receive six issues of Canadian Military Family Magazine in your mail box for only $17.95! Click here to subscribe NOW!