HMCS Vancouver to Participate in RIMPAC then Op Horizon

Continuing on its promise to bolster the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) presence in the Indo-Pacific, Minister of National Defence Bill Blair recently announced the RCN’s second deployment to the region.

His Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Vancouver departed on June 5 from its home base of Esquimalt to take part in Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2024. The RCN vessel will then sail on to Operation HORIZON in the Indo-Pacific.

HMCS Vancouver will be the second RCN vessel to deploy to the region this year. It is expected HMCS Ottawa will follow in the fall, becoming the third vessel this year.

“As a Pacific nation, the security and stability of the Indo-Pacific region is vital to Canada’s future. It is the world’s fastest growing region and home to several of our top trading partners. This Canadian naval deployment demonstrates that Canada is a partner for peace, stability and prosperity in the region – and that we are committed to promoting a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific,” said Blair.

Canadian Army Warrant Officer Robby Fraser, a platoon warrant officer with Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, directs machine gun fire at a support by fire position during a platoon-size live-fire assault, July 22, as part of Rim of the Pacific 2012.


RIMPAC is the largest joint combined maritime exercise in the world. This year, 29 nations will participate, with approximately 40 surface ships, three submarines, 14 national land forces, over 150 aircraft, and more than 25,000 personnel.

“RIMPAC is the largest exercise of its kind in the world bar none. It represents the pinnacle of joint military training and I have no doubt that Canadian Armed Forces members will perform admirably. In a time of rising tensions all over the world, security ties are more important than ever, we must ensure that we can provide a united response to any challenge we may face,” said VAdm. Bob Auchterlonie, Commander Canadian Joint Operations Command.

This year will be the 29 iteration of RIMPAC.

HMCS Ottawa is greeted by Canadian flags as the ship enters Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, for a port visit on 8 December 2023. Photo Credit: Aviator Gregory Cole, Canadian Armed Forces Photo.

Canada’s contribution to RIMPAC

The exercise allows Canada to sharpen its expertise in the Indo-Pacific region while working alongside its partners. It will have an especially critical role in this year’s expertise, with RCN Commodore Kristijn Monaghan appointed to command the maritime component of the upcoming RIMPAC 2024.

HMCS Vancouver will be accompanied by HMCS Max Bernays, Motor Vessel Asterix and a shore-based contingent of close to 300 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members, according to the Department of National Defence (DND) in this year’s RIMPAC exercise.

Other CAF participation includes:

  • Two shore-based RCAF CP-140 Aurora Air Detachments
  • CH-148 Cyclone helicopter detachment aboard HMCS Vancouver
  • RCN Dive Team
  • Canadian Forces Health Service Group Medical Emergency Response Team
  • Mobile Surgical Resuscitation Team

Upon the conclusion of RIMPAC, HMCS Vancouver will continue sailing westward to conduct Operation HORIZON.

“I can think of no better way to begin a six-month long deployment to the Indo-Pacific than participating in RIMPAC. Not only will this allow us to take part in the world’s largest international maritime exercise, but it will set the tone for the rest of our sail in this vital area of the world. Thanks to the hard work and professionalism of the sailors, soldiers, and aviators on Vancouver, I have no doubt that we will be successful throughout our deployment,” said Commander Tyson Bergmann, Commanding Officer of HMCS Vancouver.

HMCS OTTAWA operates in coordination with CP-140 Aurora aircraft, SLAPSHOT 99 in the Asia-Pacific region during Operation NEON on October 23, 2019. Photo by: Leading Seaman Victoria Ioganov.

Op NEON participation

HMCS Vancouver is also set to participate in Operation NEON.

Since May, CAF has deployed P-140 Aurora, a long-range patrol aircraft to Japan under Operation NEON, Canada’s contribution toward implementing United Nations Security Council (UNSC) sanctions imposed against North Korea.

Canada’s desire to increase its presence in the Indo-Pacific region was outlined in its strategy aimed for the region released in November 2022.

In June, the Minister of National Defence participated in the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore. During the discussions, according to DND, Blair “emphasized” Canada’s desire to maintain its presence in the region. He also iterated Canada’s investment of $9.9 billion over 20 years to sustain naval vessels, vessels that are deployed to the Indo-Pacific.

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Mishall Rehman

Originally from Atlanta, GA, Mishall is a freelance journalist pursuing her passion for writing in her new homeland Canada. She currently lives in Trenton, ON with her husband.

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