After six months of touring the Pacific region and participating in multiple international exercises, Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship Vancouver returned to CFB Esquimalt on Dec. 14.
HMCS Vancouver departed from Esquimalt for its six month deployment in June.
“Welcome home to the crew of HMCS Vancouver. In your six months at sea, you’ve demonstrated why the sailors of the Royal Canadian Navy are held in such high regard around the world. Not only did you show excellence during exercises, you also displayed outstanding humanity in assisting the people of New Zealand in their time of need. I’m proud of you!” Gen. Jonathan Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff.
During these last six months, HMCS Vancouver has taken part in multiple exercises such has operation RIMPAC and KAKADU. RIMPAC, which was conducted from June 30 to Aug. 4, was held in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. It is the world’s largest international maritime exercise that brings together 26 nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft, and over 25,000 personnel participating this year.
Operation KAKADU, held in mid-September, is a joint biennial exercise hosted by the Royal Australian Navy and supported by the Royal Australian Air Force. Twenty nations took part in this exercise including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Fiji, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, United States of America, and Vietnam.
As part of WESTPLOY 16, HMCS Vancouver and her crew also visited multiple countries in the Asia Pacific to foster relationships and build bridges for Canada across the region.
“I am so proud to welcome HMCS Vancouver back home to Esquimalt after a productive six months at sea. The ship’s deployment is a clear example of the effectiveness of exercising abroad, combined with the capability and flexibility to respond when called upon by our allies. Through engagement in the region, and the support provided to the people of New Zealand affected by the earthquake, HMCS Vancouver served as an exemplary ambassador for the Royal Canadian Navy,” RAdm. McDonald, Commander Maritime Forces Pacific
During its deployment, HMCS Vancouver, which incidentally happened to be in the area at the time, took part in disaster relief in New Zealand’s South Island after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck the area on Nov. 14. HMCS Vancouver helped to repair damaged infrastructure and assist in the transport of emergency supplies using the ship’s Sea King Helicopter.
The last year has been a busy year for HMCS Vancouver. Earlier in the year, the ship was deployed on SOUTHPLOY 16 in Central and South America to strengthen ties with Peru, Chile and Mexico They also conducted several high-intensity warfare training exercises with allied nations. During this deployment, HMCS Vancouver made history when it became the first modernized Canadian frigate to successfully test surface-to-surface missiles against a shore-based target.