The Royal Canadian Navy has officially welcomed into service the first Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPs), Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Harry DeWolf, with the time-honoured tradition of a Commissioning Ceremony. This significant occasion represents a great achievement for the Canadian shipbuilding industry and for the RCN, with the first ship of the RCN’s future fleet delivered under the National Shipbuilding Strategy, officially entering service.

The proud naval traditions carried out in today’s ceremony included a symbolic presentation of the “keys to the ship” to the Commanding Officer, Commander Corey Gleason, the raising of the ship’s pennant and the hoisting of the ensign and jack.

The Harry DeWolf-class AOPS will bolster the RCN’s presence in the Arctic and its ability to operate globally. Specifically designed to patrol Canada’s northernmost regions and offshore waters, this new class of ship will be at the core of an enhanced Canadian Armed Forces Arctic presence, effectively complementing the capabilities of our other current and future warships through critical reconnaissance and surveillance activities.

The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence stated, “Today’s ceremony marks an historic day for the Canadian Armed Forces as we welcome the first ship of the Royal Canadian Navy’s future fleet into service. HMCS Harry DeWolf and the Arctic and Offshore Patrol ships that will follow it into service will enable the Royal Canadian Navy to maintain an enhanced presence in Canada’s North, to patrol and protect our Arctic sovereignty, and to keep Canada safe and strong at home. This enhanced presence is significant, as it also enables the RCN to continue to foster its affiliation with the communities of the North, and to engage and learn from the people of this important region.

Rear-Admiral Chris Sutherland, Acting Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy said, “As HMCS Harry DeWolf enters into naval service, and prepares to depart on its first operation, I can’t tell you how excited the Royal Canadian Navy is about what this represents. Following completion of its contribution to Op NANOOK, Harry DeWolf will proceed this fall to transit through Canada’s fabled Northwest Passage, and carry on to circumnavigate North America while supporting operations in the Eastern Pacific and Caribbean Basin. HMCS Harry DeWolf is not only the first of its class, and the first RCN ship to enter service under the National Shipbuilding Strategy – it represents what the future holds for the RCN as we continue to expand our presence in the North, and grow our capability to operate across the globe; it represents the modern and capable ships that the sailors of tomorrow will be crewing; it represents the future, and that future is here.”

—          Rear-Admiral Chris Sutherland, Acting Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy

Quick Facts

  • The first AOPS, HMCS Harry DeWolf, was launched in fall 2018, and was delivered to the RCN on July 31, 2020. It was commissioned on June 26, 2021. Construction of AOPS three, four and five is ongoing, and construction of the sixth ship is expected to begin in 2022.
  • The ships of the Harry DeWolf class will be affiliated with regions of the Inuit Nunangat. The first affiliation between HMCS Harry DeWolf and the Qikiqtani region of Nunavut was formalized in May 2019. Affiliation between an HMC Ship, its sailors and civilian communities is a long-standing and honoured naval tradition, with relationships lasting throughout the service-life of the ship.
  • HMCS Harry DeWolf is scheduled to participate in the maritime portion of Operation NANOOK in August 2021, following which it will transit through the Northwest Passage, and carry on to circumnavigate North America.


NATO Allies Participate in Exercise SEA BREEZE (Pic 3)

NATO is strengthening deterrence and defense with joint exercises and maritime patrols such as the upcoming exercise SEA BREEZE 2021. This is good example to how Allies and Partners provide unique training opportunities, designed to enhance readiness, improve collaboration, and interoperability in the Black Sea region.

Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 will take part in the exercise, which will begin on June 28, 2021 and run through July 23rd. Co-hosted by the Ukrainian Navy and the U.S. Navy’s Sixth Fleet, the annual bilateral exercise aims to strengthen maritime security in the Black Sea region. This year’s iteration has the largest number of participating nations in the exercise’s history with 32 countries, including Canada, providing 5,000 troops, 32 ships, 40 aircraft, and 18 special operations and dive teams scheduled to participate.

The exercise will focus on multiple warfare areas including amphibious warfare, land manoeuvre warfare, diving operations, maritime interdiction operations, air defence, special operations integration, anti-submarine warfare, and search and rescue operations.

NATO warships routinely operate in the Black Sea, consistent with international law, usually patrolling the waters for around two-thirds of the year. NATO ships also regularly participate in both NATO and national exercises in the Black Sea to enhance interoperability, demonstrate presence and assure Allies of the maritime commitment to collective defense. SEA BREEZE exercises have included NATO participation since 1997, demonstrating NATO’s steadfast commitment to Allies and Partners for over 20 years.