Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Ottawa departed its homeport of Esquimalt today for a four-and-a-half-month deployment to the Asia-Pacific region on Operations PROJECTION and NEON.
Operation PROJECTION contributes to the Canadian Armed Forces’ persistent maritime presence in the region.
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.
“The crew of HMCS Ottawa has been working hard for months to prepare for this deployment and I have every confidence in our ability to carry out our mission. I would also like to acknowledge our families, whose love and support gives us the strength we need to work hard to remain operationally effective and deploy to support Canada’s presence in the Asia-Pacific region,” says Commander Alex Barlow, Commanding Officer HMCS Ottawa.
While deployed, HMCS Ottawa will work with partner navies and conduct key leader engagements to enhance military cooperation and partnerships in support of Canada’s diplomatic efforts in the region.
HMCS Ottawa is joining the international maritime monitoring mission periodically between late August and mid-November, 2019.
HMCS Ottawa will also make six port visits in four countries including Japan, the Republic of Korea, Thailand, and the United States.
These port visits will directly support Canada’s diplomatic, strategic and operational efforts in the region.
“HMCS Ottawa’s deployment is a unique opportunity to demonstrate the Royal Canadian Navy’s continued presence in this strategically important region, clearly signalling that Canada is an engaged Asia-Pacific partner. By participating in Operations PROJECTION and NEON, Ottawa will advance the mission, continue the great work performed during previous deployments and maintain critical relationships with our international partners,” says Rear-Admiral Craig Baines, Maritime Component Commander.
This deployment follows a succession of Royal Canadian Navy deployments to the region, the most recent of which was HMCS Regina, supported by Naval Replenishment Unit Asterix and a CP-140 Aurora aircraft, from February to August 2019.