HMCS Vancouver deploys to Asia

HMCS Vancouver departs Esquimalt, B.C., for Operation PROJECTION Indo-Asia Pacific.

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By Lieutenant (Navy) Tony Wright

Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Vancouver has deployed on Operation PROJECTION Indo-Asia Pacific. The three-month patrol in the Western Pacific will be followed by the frigate’s participation in the 2018 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise, the world’s largest naval exercise.

Vancouver will visit Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and Fiji in order to demonstrate Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) operational capabilities and the flexibility to contribute to a range of requirements: support to international missions, strengthening relationships with allies and partners, and responding to humanitarian or security related incidents in the Indo-Asia Pacific if required.

The mission will also demonstrate the Canadian Armed Forces’ ability to project naval influence and support Government of Canada objectives in the region. Canada is a Pacific nation and Op PROJECTION Indo-Asia Pacific is another example of Canada’s commitment to support stability in the region.

“The RCN offers options to government to effectively engage in parts of the world where our country has economic and security interests, and we are a very flexible resource,” says Commander Christopher Nucci, Vancouver’s Commanding Officer. “As Vancouver experienced first-hand, although ships set sail expecting to complete a certain set of tasks, we can end up doing something completely different within our spectrum of capabilities if the need arises.”

In 2016, Vancouver deployed to the Western Pacific and was scheduled to participate in the Royal New Zealand Navy’s fleet review. That port visit quickly turned into a humanitarian mission after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck the Kaikoura region. A Task Group that included units from Australia, Canada and the United States contributed to the humanitarian relief effort for the people of New Zealand hit hardest by the powerful earthquake.

“This crew is ready to go,” says Cdr Nucci. “We are excited to represent Canada and to meet and work with other nations to promote peace and security in the region.”

Vancouver is scheduled to return to Canada in August.

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