January 21, 2019 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces
Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Ville de Québec has completed its six-month deployment with Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) and returned today to Halifax.
On January 19, 2019, HMCS Toronto left Halifax to take its place as the maritime component of Operation REASSURANCE, Canada’s contribution to NATO’s assurance and deterrence measures in Central and Eastern Europe.
As outlined in the defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, Canada is committed to the principle of the collective defence of the Alliance, which is at the very heart of NATO’s founding treaty. Canada’s participation in regional maritime security operations as part of NATO assurance activities directly contributes to international security and cooperation, and re-affirms the Royal Canadian Navy as a responsive and effective force in today’s maritime security environment.
The deployment of a Halifax-class frigate and CH-148 Cyclone maritime helicopter in support of NATO assurance and deterrence measures provides Canada with the flexibility to execute a range of missions across a broad spectrum of operations. The ship and aircraft support the international efforts in the region, including surveillance and monitoring, regional defence and diplomatic engagement, and capacity building.
“Today’s deployment of HMCS Toronto on Operation REASSURANCE continues to demonstrate Canada’s meaningful and enduring contributions to NATO’s assurance and deterrence measures in order to strengthen regional stability. I have great confidence in the professionalism of the crew to deliver diverse and robust capabilities to the Standing NATO Maritime Group Two.”
— Lieutenant-General Mike Rouleau, Commander Canadian Joint Operations Command
“The deployment of HMCS Ville de Québec on Operation REASSURANCE marked an important milestone for the Royal Canadian Air Force – the first operational deployment of the new CH-148 Cyclone maritime helicopter. Operated and maintained by a highly capable Helicopter Air Detachment, the Cyclone’s performance on this deployment has proven it to be a state-of-the-art, combat-capable aircraft, which will do great service as the “Wings for the Fleet” for the Royal Canadian Navy for years to come. I have no doubt that the CH-148 detachment deploying on HMCS Toronto will continue to make the RCAF proud.”
— Major-General Christian Drouin, Commander 1 Canadian Air Division and Combined/Joint Forces Air Component Commander for the Canadian Joint Operations Command
“It is with great pride that we commend the crew of HMCS Ville de Québec for their outstanding work on Operation REASSURANCE. They can return home with a feeling of accomplishment for their support of Canada’s efforts within NATO. We also bid farewell to the dedicated sailors on board HMCS Toronto who are departing to continue this important mission after an incredible amount of preparation. Fair winds and following seas to the Command Team and crew of HMCS Toronto.”
— Rear-Admiral Craig Baines, Commander Maritime Component Command
“I am incredibly proud of the hard work and accomplishments of the crew of HMCS Ville de Québec over the past six months. Since deploying in July 2018 as part of Operation REASSURANCE, we conducted highly effective patrols and participated in key NATO exercises in the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean, and the Norwegian and North Seas. This deployment marks a historic moment for both the Royal Canadian Navy and Royal Canadian Air Force as we sailed with the highly capable CH-148 Cyclone helicopter on its first operational deployment. On behalf of the entire crew, I extend a heartfelt thank you to the families of all our sailors, soldiers and aviators who supported us during this six-month deployment. I also wish fair winds and following seas to HMCS Toronto as they replace us.”
— Commander Scott Robinson, Commanding Officer of HMCS Ville de Québec
“The crew of HMCS Toronto greatly looks forward to rejoining our NATO Allies in support of Operation REASSURANCE and continuing to build on the successes of the crews who have deployed before us. I would like to personally thank the loved ones who will be supporting our sailors from home. Deployments like this would not be possible without the great sacrifice of our families and friends.”
— Commander Martin Fluet, Commanding Officer of HMCS Toronto
Since 2014, the Canadian Armed Forces have deployed a maritime task force with one frigate on a rotational basis on Operation REASSURANCE.
HMCS Ville de Québec started to support NATO assurance and deterrence measures on July 19, 2018, and joined Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) on its way to the Mediterranean Sea. SNMG2 is a naval task force made up of ships from various allied countries that work together for a common purpose.
This was the first time that HMCS Ville de Québec has deployed on Operation REASSURANCE.
HMCS Ville de Québec is a Halifax-class frigate. It has a crew of approximately 240 personnel of all ranks. This includes an enhanced naval boarding party and the CH-148 Cyclone helicopter air detachment.
This was the first operational deployment for the CH-148 Cyclone helicopter.
HMCS Ville de Québec deployed for 190 days, sailing over 32,800 nautical miles. The ship conducted 14 Operational Ports of Call in 12 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. During Operation REASSURANCE, HMCS Ville de Québec participated in Exercise TRIDENT JUNCTURE 2018, a multinational exercise consisting of approximately 50,000 personnel, 250 aircraft and 65 vessels from 31 NATO Allies and partner nations. HMCS Ville de Québec also participated in five cooperative deployments with ships of the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force and Tunisian, Algerian, Turkish and Egyptian Navies. The ship hosted events onboard on behalf of the Canadian Ambassadors to Tunisia, Algeria and Israel, helping to strengthen Canada’s ties with the international community.
The helicopter air detachment (HELAIRDET) and its CH-148 Cyclone helicopter flew over 500 hours during 170 sorties, 54 of which were Maritime Security Awareness surveillance patrols in support of NATO’s Operation SEA GUARDIAN. The HELAIRDET was able to improve existing shipborne helicopter operating procedures, refine tactics to fit the Cyclone’s advanced capabilities, develop a robust integration of the aircraft with the modernized Halifax-class frigate, and validate the interoperability of the Cyclone with NATO Allies and partners.
This deployment marks HMCS Toronto’s second deployment as part of Operation REASSURANCE. It deployed on Operation REASSURANCE from August 2014 to January 2015.
In September 2014, HMCS Toronto entered the Black Sea and participated in joint NATO training exercises and maritime situational awareness operations as part of Op REASSURANCE. In compliance with the Montreux Convention, HMCS Toronto exited the Black Sea after a period not exceeding 21 days and resumed her patrols in the Mediterranean Sea. Its deployment to the Black Sea reinforced Canada’s continued contribution to security and stability in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as Canada’s resolute support for NATO’s collective defence.