The Halifax-class warships Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships (HMCS) Calgary and Vancouver set sail on June 13 from the Esquimalt Harbour for 25th edition of Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC). The world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC 2016 will help to strengthen naval partnerships and enhance interoperability.
Taking place from June 30 to August 4, RIMPAC 2016 will allow the 500 sailors of HMCS Calgary and Vancouver to test weapons systems and upgrades to their equipment. Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) warships will also test electronic countermeasures, designed to better protect sailors and warships in times of war. In addition, during RIMPAC 2016, taking place around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California, they will fire Evolved Sea Sparrow and Harpoon missiles and heavyweight torpedoes to increase the warfighting capabilities of the Halifax-class ships.
In addition, the two Halifax-class warships will be joined by Kingston-class warships HMCS Saskatoon and Yellowknife. The two Kingston-class warships and their crew of 80 will depart next week for the waters of Southern California. HMCS Saskatoon and Yellowknife will conduct coastal operations with other Navies and diving units.
The Kingston-class warships will also carry out testing and exercises using advanced mine countermeasure equipment, in order to reduce risk to sailors and warships will enhancing interoperability with allied nations.
“Participation in RIMPAC allows the Royal Canadian Navy to work together with our partner nations while providing unique training opportunities for our sailors to maintain and enhance operational readiness. These opportunities allow our sailors to continue to develop and deepen partnerships with countries from the Asia-Pacific region and beyond,” said Commodore Jeff Zwick, Commander Canadian Fleet Pacific.
Senior leadership from the RCN will also hold key leadership positions in RIMPAC 2016. Capt. (Navy) Jason Boyd, Director New Capability Introduction for the RCN, will be the Sea Combat Commander for the USS John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group. He will be responsible for directing naval combat operations for up to ten international warships in the Carrier Strike Group.
Exercise RIMPAC 2016 is just one of the many operations conducted by the RCN. Throughout the year, the RCN takes part in operations like Operation CARIBBE, Operation REASSURANCE, and Operation ARTEMIS to protect Canada’s interest on the international stage in.
“The Royal Canadian Navy has both domestic and international roles. At home, maritime defence and security is the Navy’s first priority in ensuring that Canada’s maritime approaches are effectively monitored and protected. Canada also needs naval forces with the ability to act internationally — whenever and wherever issues arise that threaten our national interests,” stated a Department of National Defence press release.