After an eight-and-a-half month deployment, visiting dozens of countries and supporting various NATO missions, HMCS Winnipeg returned to Esquimalt on Feb. 23. The ship and her crew successfully participated in two multinational operations and three multinational exercises.
“On behalf of the Government of Canada, and all Canadians, I proudly welcome home the crew of HMCS Winnipeg. The ship and its crew made a number of valuable contributions around the world during its lengthy time away from home and have helped raise Canada’s profile around the world by participating in a number of operations and multinational exercises,” said Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defence.
HMCS Winnipeg first set sail on open waters on June 15, 2015, to participate in Operation REASSURANCE. While en route, the ship also conducted surveillance patrols as part of Operation CARIBBE, Canada’s participation in a multinational campaign against illicit trafficking in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. The ship and her crew also participated in Exercises NORTHERN COAST, JOINT WARRIOR and TRIDENT JUNCTURE.
“HMCS Winnipeg is thrilled to return to Victoria after a challenging and rewarding operational deployment. I couldn’t be more proud of the accomplishments of the crew, their professionalism and effectiveness.
After they have circumnavigated the globe in support of national objectives, I’m so pleased to be able to bring them home to their families and loved ones. Mission(s) accomplished,” said Commander J. Jeffrey Hutchinson, Commanding Officer, HMCS Winnipeg.
HMCS Winnipeg served alongside two Standing NATO Maritime fleets, while on Operation REASSURANCE, Canada’s contribution to NATO assurance measures in Central and Eastern Europe. The ship carried out its role to support NATO’s mission to build maritime situational awareness in the Mediterranean Sea.
The nearly yearlong deployment included visits to 16 different countries and working alongside 102 ships from 20 different NATO partners. On the long journey back to Canadian shores, HMCS Winnipeg and her crew conducted port visits in India, Malaysia, Singapore and Japan.
“I am very proud to welcome HMCS Winnipeg and her crew home after a long and highly successful deployment. Winnipeg was the first modernized frigate to deploy from the Pacific Fleet, and she executed each mission assigned to her during this extended deployment to a very high standard, directly contributing to international operations. This deployment and its achievements highlight the versatility of our Navy,” said Rear-Admiral Gilles Couturier, Commander, Maritime Forces Pacific.