HMCS Montreal sets sail for the Indo-Pacific

Above image: HMCS MONTREAL sails the Mediterranean Sea during Operation REASSURANCE, on June 2nd, 2022. Photo by: Corporal Braden Trudeau Canadian Armed Forces Imagery Technician.

His Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Montreal’s crew bid farewell to their loved ones at a departure ceremony at HMCS Scotian in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on April 14th.

The departure of HMCS Montreal represents the first of three Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) warships annually deployed under Operation HORIZON in support of Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy.

HMCS Montreal departs for a six-month overseas deployment, in the Indo-Pacific Region, on Operation Horizon, on 14 April 2024. Photo by Mona Ghiz, MARLANT Public Affairs 20240414HSX0311D001 © 2024 DND – MDN Canada.

Enduring Commitment to Indo-Pacific Region

This deployment demonstrates an enduring commitment to the Indo-Pacific region and enhances Canada’s role as an international security partner, said Rear-Admiral Josée Kurtz, Commander Maritime Forces Atlantic and Commander Joint Task Force Atlantic.

“The departure of HMCS Montreal represents the significant work and dedication of the Atlantic Fleet in promoting security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region. As the first ship to deploy on Operation HORIZON this year, the sailors and aviators on board HMCS Montreal will collaborate with our international partners, contribute towards regional security, and strengthen the strategic interests of Canada. I know Montreal’s mission will reflect positively on the RCN and wish the crew a safe and successful deployment. Fair winds!”

The Combat Systems Engineering department loads the Close-In Weapons System onboard HMCS OTTAWA during Operations PROJECTION and NEON off the coast of British Columbia, Canada, August 13, 2019. Photo: Leading Seaman Victoria Ioganov.

Reinforce Ties with International Allies

Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence, emphasized that through Operation HORIZON, the HMCS Montreal will reinforce ties with international allies and strengthen relationships with like-minded nations by integrating with partner navies, participating in training exercises, and engaging in military and diplomatic cooperation.‌

Commander Travis Bain, Commanding Officer HMCS Montreal, said the ship’s company of HMCS Montreal had been diligently preparing for Operation HORIZON.

“I have the utmost confidence in their ability to display excellence at sea and enhance interoperability with allied navies. I must also thank the families of our crew, who are the heart of our forces. Without their continued support, we would not be able to accomplish what is required of us. So, I thank you for all your efforts in preparation for this departure.”‌

Members of the Helicopter Air Detachment aboard HMCS MONTREAL conduct helicopter hoist drills with a CH-148 Cyclone helicopter, call sign Strider, during Operation REASSURANCE on February 13, 2022. Please credit: Corporal Braden Trudeau, Canadian Armed Forces photo.

Departure Delayed Due to Problem

HMCS Montreal is a Halifax Class Frigate. Halifax-class frigates have a crew of approximately 240 personnel comprising RCN sailors as well as RCAF aviators to fly and support the ship’s embarked CH-148 Cyclone maritime helicopter.

On Friday, April 12, 2024, the crew of His Majesty’s Canadian Ship Montreal discovered a problem with a system that required rectification. It was determined that it would be efficient and expedient to complete this repair prior to departing Halifax. To conduct the required repairs and preserve the required readiness training, the crew remained onboard following the ceremony until departure.

Members of HMCS OTTAWA and members of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force form up for the arrival of HMCS OTTAWA’s Command Team for a welcoming ceremony alongside Maizuru, Japan during Operations PROJECTION and NEON, August 23, 2019. Photo: Leading Seaman Victoria Ioganov.

Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy

Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy represents a comprehensive and integrated framework for increased Canadian engagement across the Indo-Pacific region. Canada will continue to work alongside allies and partners in the region to promote a stable, secure, and prosperous Indo-Pacific.

Operation HORIZON is Canada’s ongoing forward presence mission to promote peace and stability in support of the rules-based international order in the Indo-Pacific. In the summer of 2023, the new operation replaced the Indo-Pacific portion of Operation PROJECTION, in line with Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy.

All naval activities formerly conducted under Operation PROJECTION Indo-Pacific, along with new activities conducted by the Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), Special Forces Command, and other CAF elements, are now conducted under Operation HORIZON.

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