HMCS Vancouver slips for Asia
By Lt(N) Tony Wright,
HMCS Vancouver PAO
After a long Easter weekend with family and friends, HMCS Vancouver and crew deployed for Operation PROJECTION Indo-Asia Pacific.
This is a three-month patrol in the Western Pacific that will be followed by Vancouver’s participation in the 2018 Rim of the Pacific exercise (RIMPAC), 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 CAF’s ability to project naval influence and support Government of Canada objectives in this 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 Cdr Christopher Nucci, Vancouver’s Commanding Officer. “As Vancouver has experienced first-hand in the past, 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 (RNZN) 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.”
Following the Op PROJECTION deployment and RIMPAC exercise participation, Vancouver is scheduled to return to Canada in August.