Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Fredericton returned to Canadian shores last week after a two and a half week deployment to the Americas that included a stop in Havana, Cuba.
During its deployment, HMCS Fredericton visited the ports of Veracruz, Mexico; Cartagena, Colombia; and Havana, Cuba, the first time in more than half a century that a Canadian Warship has visited the island nation.
“HMCS Fredericton ended its sailing year with a tour-de-force in the Caribbean Sea. Ambassadors of Canada, all the dedicated sailors, and aviators recently home from the NATO Reassurance mission were instrumental in building stronger relations from Havana to Cartagena to Veracruz. Cuba is an emerging relationship to be nurtured. Colombia is strategically located with ocean interests similar to Canada. Its navy is modern, experienced, and eager to partner in regional security initiatives as they accept the General Secretariat of the Inter-American Naval Conference from Canada. Mexico is an enduring ally in the North American Maritime Security Initiative, whose Atlantic and Pacific ports are key to sustaining Royal Canadian Navy warships on counterdrug patrols. All these relationships and more provide the Royal Canadian Navy options and influence in the region in so far as our national interests and security demand,” said RAdm. John Newton, Commander Joint Task Force Atlantic and Commander Maritime Forces Atlantic.
While in Columbia, the Royal Canadian Navy completed the transfer of host cuties for the Inter-American Naval Conference (IANC) to the Columbian Navy. The next IANC will be held in 2018.
The focus of the deployment was to strengthen existing partnerships with Caribbean nations, partnerships that focus on missions such as diverting drug trafficking and diving operations.
HMCS Fredericton, a Halifax Class Frigate that recently underwent the Halifax Class Modernization/ Frigate Life Extension Program, also recently returned from a six-month deployment in the Mediterranean Sea on Op REASSURANCE and completed two major exercises, CUTLASS FURY and SPARTAN WARRIOR, before deploying to the Americas.
“Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship Fredericton has spent the past two months at sea, first operating as the Flag Ship for the largest post-FELEX Canadian Task Group during Spartan Warrior 2016, then exercising our Underwater Warfare Team by hunting multiple United States Navy nuclear submarines in company with American surface combatants, and finally by visiting three Caribbean nations to build stronger ties with their Navies. This deployment has highlighted the importance of interoperability and strong relationships—elements that are crucial for any globally deployable naval force. Our international engagement efforts have helped us gain a better understanding of the challenges we collectively face. I could not be more proud of my crew for their positive representation of Canada, the Canadian Armed Forces, and the Royal Canadian Navy while on this remarkable history-making sail,” Commander Yves Tremblay, Commanding Officer Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship Fredericton.