Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Ottawa departed its homeport of Esquimalt today for a four-and-a-half-month deployment to the Asia-Pacific region on Operations PROJECTION and NEON.
Operation PROJECTION contributes to the Canadian Armed Forces’ persistent maritime presence in the region. Operation NEON is Canada’s contribution to a coordinated multinational effort to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council sanctions imposed on North Korea. The imposed UN sanctions aim to pressure North Korea to abandon its weapons of mass destruction programs and respond to North Korean nuclear weapon tests and ballistic missile launches. While deployed, HMCS Ottawa will work with partner navies and conduct key leader engagements to enhance military cooperation and partnerships in support of Canada’s diplomatic efforts in the region.
HMCS Ottawa will also make six port visits in four countries including Japan, the Republic of Korea, Thailand, and the United States. These port visits will directly support Canada’s diplomatic, strategic and operational efforts in the region.
This deployment follows a succession of Royal Canadian Navy deployments to the region, the most recent of which was HMCS Regina, supported by Naval Replenishment Unit Asterix and a CP-140 Aurora aircraft, from February to August 2019.
“HMCS Ottawa’s deployment is a unique opportunity to demonstrate the Royal Canadian Navy’s continued presence in this strategically important region, clearly signaling that Canada is an engaged Asia-Pacific partner. By participating in Operations PROJECTION and NEON, Ottawa will advance the mission, continue the great work performed during previous deployments and maintain critical relationships with our international partners.”
– Rear-Admiral Craig Baines, Maritime Component Commander
“The crew of HMCS Ottawa has been working hard for months to prepare for this deployment and I have every confidence in our ability to carry out our mission. I would also like to acknowledge our families, whose love and support gives us the strength we need to work hard to remain operationally effective and deploy to support Canada’s presence in the Asia-Pacific region.”
– Commander Alex Barlow, Commanding Officer HMCS Ottawa
Starting early October, the renewed Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) contribution to the multinational effort in the Asia-Pacific region will be a CP-140 Aurora, along with crew and supporting personnel, operating from Japan. HMCS Ottawa will join the international maritime monitoring mission periodically between late August and mid-November.
HMCS Ottawa is a Halifax-class frigate. Halifax-class frigates carry extensive anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare weapons and sensors to complement their substantial anti-air warfare defenses. The combination of these weapons and sensor systems, coupled with state-of-the-art damage control and machinery control systems, make frigates one of the most advanced warship designs in the world.
In May 2018, a CP-140 Aurora was deployed under Operation PROJECTION – Asia-Pacific to support surveillance and monitoring activities with partners in order to counter North Korea’s efforts to evade UN Security Council sanctions through maritime smuggling. These surveillance and monitoring activities included identifying those who violate sanctions and sharing the information with implicated countries and the UN Panel of Experts. This was followed by a deployment of HMCS Calgary and a CP-140 Aurora in October 2018.