Today, the Honourable Anita Anand,welcomed home the companies of His Majesty’s Canadian Ships (HMCS) Vancouver and Winnipeg as they returned to their homeport of Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt, after successfully completing their deployments on Operation (Op) PROJECTION and Op NEON.
Since sailing to the Indo-Pacific region in early August, the Halifax-class frigates have carried out an ambitious schedule, which included port calls to eight countries, including HMCS Winnipeg’s port call to Cambodia – a first for a Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) ship – thereby strengthening Canada’s relationships abroad. Port visits also took place in Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Singapore and Thailand.
HMCS Vancouver, along with a Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CP-140 long-range patrol aircraft, also deployed on Op NEON, Canada’s contribution to multinational efforts to monitor sanctions imposed on North Korea by the United Nations Security Council.
The presence of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) in the Indo-Pacific region demonstrates Canada’s ongoing commitment to enhancing military interoperability, cooperation, and relationships with our allies and partners, consistent with our objective to increase Canada’s contribution to stability and security in the region.
On this deployment, the ships conducted 38 replenishments at sea with multiple partner nations, including a first-time replenishment at sea with a Japanese Izumo-class helicopter carrier. This Japanese carrier resupplied HMCS Winnipeg, and His Majesty’s New Zealand Ship Aotearoa resupplied HMCS Vancouver. Further, RCN ships participated in seven international exercises, including the signature binational exercise with Japan, KAEDEX (derived from “kaede,” meaning “maple” in Japanese). As well, for the first time, Canada had two frigates and a CP-140 aircraft participating in Exercise KEEN SWORD, which this year included approximately 36,000 military personnel.
During her visit to British Columbia, Minister Anand highlighted Canada’s new Indo-Pacific Strategy, which lays out Canada’s whole-of-Government approach to the region. Minister Anand reiterated that this strategy invests over $490 million to reinforce Canada’s defence presence in the region, including by deploying a third frigate annually to the Indo-Pacific Region. This Strategy will strengthen Canada’s defence partnerships in the region in support of international peace and stability.