HMCS Ville de Québec deploys with new Cyclone helicopter

A helicopter overflies an urban landscape with many tall buildings.
A few days before HMCS Ville de Quebec deployed for the Mediterranean with a CH-148 Cyclone detachment onboard, Halifax-area media had the opportunity to fly on Cyclones and learn about the helicopter first-hand. Here, a Cyclone overflies downtown Halifax on July 13, 2018. PHOTO: DND, SW09-2018-0303-101

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Department of National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Ville de Québec departed its homeport of Halifax, Nova Scotia, on July 18, 2018, for Operation Reassurance. This mission marks the first operational deployment of a CH-148 Cyclone helicopter—an important milestone for the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Royal Canadian Navy.

The ship will join Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2), one of NATO’s maritime immediate reaction forces, on its way to the Mediterranean Sea as part of Canada’s support to NATO assurance and deterrence measures in Central and Eastern Europe.

“This deployment marks an exciting period for the Royal Canadian Air Force as we transition maritime helicopter operations to our new fleet of state-of-the-art, combat-capable CH-148 Cyclones,” said Lieutenant-General Al Meinzinger, commander of the RCAF. “During this mission, the Cyclone will provide the necessary air power to HMCS Ville de Québec as it delivers on Canada and NATO’s objectives for this operation. We are proud to provide ‘Wings for the Fleet’.”

On its first deployment under Operation Reassurance, HMCS Ville de Québec replaces HMCS St. John’s, which arrives in its homeport of Halifax later in July after six months away from home.

“Our Government is committed to international security and cooperation, including regional maritime security in Eastern and Central Europe in cooperation with our NATO allies. HMCS Ville de Québec’s participation in Op Reassurance, along with the new CH-148 Cyclone helicopter, demonstrates Canada’s continued leadership on the world stage and contribution to NATO priorities,” said Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan.

HMCS Ville de Québec is a Halifax-class frigate with a crew of approximately 240 personnel of all ranks, including an enhanced naval boarding party and a CH-148 Cyclone helicopter air detachment.

The RCAF’s CH-148 Cyclone is a world-class maritime helicopter that is capable of a full range of missions, including anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, search and rescue and utility missions, while conducting operations from Royal Canadian Navy warships.

“The deployment of HMCS Ville de Quebec, with the first-ever Cyclone helicopter air detachment embarked, is an exciting moment and important milestone for the Royal Canadian Navy and Royal Canadian Air Force,” said Vice-Admiral Ron Lloyd, commander of the Royal Canadian Navy.

“Together the team will continue to work closely with our NATO allies and partner nations to enhance regional maritime security and stability by delivering effects on, above and below the sea. This deployment is another demonstration of the Royal Canadian Navy’s commitment and ability to deploy globally to help, lead and fight on behalf of the Government of Canada.”

HMCS Ville de Québec’s deployment is part of a range of military activities undertaken by the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) to support NATO assurance and deterrence measures through the provision of military capabilities for training, exercises, demonstrations, and assigned NATO tasks and demonstrates Canada’s commitment to promote security and stability in Central and Eastern Europe.

The Standing NATO Maritime Groups are multinational, integrated maritime forces made up of vessels from various Allied countries. These vessels are made available to NATO to perform different tasks ranging from exercises to operational missions. They also help to establish Alliance presence, demonstrate solidarity, conduct routine diplomatic visits to different countries, support partner engagement, and provide a variety of maritime military capabilities to ongoing missions.

Operation Reassurance refers to the military activities undertaken by the CAF since 2014 to support NATO assurance and deterrence measures in Eastern and Central Europe. In July 2018, the Prime Minister announced that Canada will renew its contribution to NATO through Operation Reassurance until March 2023, increasing the number of Canadian Armed Forces members deployed to NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group Latvia to 540 from 455. Canada’s contribution will also continue to include air surveillance, air policing, training, and maritime forces.



CH-148 Cyclone

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  • A helicopter overflies an urban landscape with many tall buildings.
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