To promote maritime security and strengthen relationships in the region, two Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) maritime coastal defence vessels deployed in late January on Operation PROJECTION in West Africa.
Her Majesty Canadian Ship (HMCS) Glace Bay and HMCS Shawinigan departed their homeport of Halifax, NS, on Jan. 25 for a four-month-long deployment. Each ship hosts approximately 40 personnel on board.
First time for HMCS Glace Bay
This is the first deployment on Op PROJECTION for HMCS Glace Bay and the second for HMCS Shawinigan.
“I think travel is education. When we see parts of the world that we as Canadians don’t normally get a chance to visit I think it gives us a better understanding of how other people in the world are living and what our responsibilities are as global citizens,” said LCdr Owen Smith, Commanding Officer of HMCS Glace Bay.
Exercises ships to participate
During their deployment, both ships will also participate in Exercise OBANGAME EXPRESS in the Gulf of Guinea region and Exercise PHOENIX EXPRESS off the coast of north-western Africa.
The exercises will be led by U.S. Naval Forces Africa, the ships, along with a detachment from the Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF) Naval Tactical Operations Group and a Maritime Operations Centre mentorship team.
The hope is that this deployment will “further help to strengthen relationships with African nations and our allies, and help to position the CAF as leaders, at home and abroad,” according to the Department of National Defence.