Military families welcomed Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Toronto to her home port of Halifax, Nova Scotia on January 18, after a successful seven-month-long deployment in the Mediterranean Sea on Operation REASSURANCE, Canada’s response to Russia’s military aggression towards Ukraine.
HMCS Toronto and its helicopter air detachment were tasked to patrol the Mediterranean and Black Seas through the monitoring of shipping to help detect, deter and protect against terrorist activity as part of Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2).
“I am extremely proud of the crew of HMCS Toronto and their determination and dedication during this deployment on Operation REASSURANCE. The success of this deployment is a direct reflection of the crew’s training and professionalism which was demonstrated throughout the mission,” said Commander Jason Armstrong, commanding officer, HMCS Toronto.
Crew and ship participated in various joint NATO training exercises as part of its Operation REASSURANCE deployment including Exercises Sea Breeze, Noble Justification and Mavi Balina.
While participating in Exercise Sea Breeze in the Black Sea, HMCS Toronto was the first Royal Canadian Navy ship to conduct patrols in the area since 1992.
These exercises enhance Canada’s operational readiness and interoperability with NATO allies and security partners as well as strengthen NATOs collective capability to respond in a timely and effective manner to a variety of operational contingencies in Central and Eastern Europe and around the world.
Vice Admiral Mark Norman, Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy attributes HMCS Toronto’s success on Operation REASSURANCE to the Royal Canadian Navy’s ability and willingness to react rapidly to international crises and to work side by side with NATO allies.
HMCS Toronto seamlessly conducted joint operations with NATO allies throughout the deployment. Since deploying in July, the ship travelled more than 30,809 nautical miles in the Atlantic Ocean, and the Mediterranean and Black Seas. The ship’s helicopter detachment flew 181 sorties, a combat mission of an individual aircraft. Sorties start when the aircraft takes off and end when it returns. The air crew flew over 445 hours.
“Sometimes people forget when the ships go out that there are people left behind other than the spouse and the children. These sailors are missed by their brothers and sisters, parents, co-workers, church congregations and communities. I’m glad to have my little brother home safe,” said Annette McPhee-Davidson, sister of returning sailor Scott McPhee.
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.
Earlier this month HMCS Fredericton replaced HMCS Toronto on Operation REASSURANCE, part of Canada’s contribution to NATO assurance measures, which promote security and stability in Central and Eastern Europe.
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