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HMCS Vancouver begins Operation NEON deployment

HMCS Vancouver Trials

His Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Vancouver commenced Operation (Op) NEON, which is Canada’s contribution to the monitoring of United Nations Security Council sanctions designed to pressure North Korea to abandon its weapons of mass destruction programs.

HMCS Vancouver has been deployed alongside HMCS Winnipeg on Op PROJECTION since August 2022. Op PROJECTION is a naval forward operating presence that demonstrates Canada’s ongoing commitment to peace and security in the Indo-Pacific. During this deployment, the vessels are taking part in multiple training opportunities, exercises, and bilateral engagements with foreign navies and international security partners.

Following recent port visits in Jakarta, Indonesia, and Manila, Philippines, HMCS Vancouver sailed through the waters of the Taiwan Strait, along with the USS Higgins, on its way into Op NEON’s area of operation. This sail was done in full accordance with international law, including high seas navigation rights as outlined in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

During this deployment under Op NEON, HMCS Vancouver will also participate in exercises KEEN SWORD, with the United States military and Japan Self-Defense Force, and KAEDEX with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.

The ship is deployed with a CH-148 Cyclone helicopter, which augments the monitoring capabilities of HMCS Vancouver. A RCAF CP-140 Aurora long-range patrol aircraft is also scheduled to deploy next month on Op NEON with crew and supporting personnel to operate out of Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan.

“As a Pacific nation, Canada is deeply committed to upholding global stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region. Today’s routine Taiwan Strait transit demonstrates our commitment to a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific. I thank members of the Royal Canadian Navy and Royal Canadian Air Force involved in bolstering the rules-based international order with allies and partners.” The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of National Defence

“A key objective of the Canadian Armed Forces is a stable, free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific, which North Korea’s pursuit of ballistic and nuclear weapons technology puts at risk. This is why United Nations Security Council Resolutions were put in place and why Canada supports them regularly through Operation NEON. Our presence here shows our dedication to the preservation of peace and security in this region and across the globe.” Vice-Admiral Bob Auchterlonie, Commander Canadian Joint Operations Command

“Following our successes on Op PROJECTION, the crew of HMCS Vancouver are proud to begin our duties on Op NEON. We look forward to working with our partners and allies in the region in support of the UN Security Council’s sanctions. This contribution bolsters the integrity of the global sanctions regime against North Korea, enhances regional peace and stability, and supports the rules-based international order.” Commander Kevin Whiteside, Commanding Officer, HMCS Vancouver



• This is the seventh time that the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) has deployed in support of Op NEON since 2018. During the mission, the CAF aims to identify suspected maritime sanctions evasion activities, in particular ship-to-ship transfers of fuel and other commodities banned by the UNSC resolutions. In April 2021, the Government of Canada extended the mission until the end of April 2023.

• HMCS Vancouver, along with HMCS Winnipeg, departed Canada on June 14, 2022, and participated in Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022, which brought together over 25,000 personnel from 26 nations for the world’s premier joint and combined maritime exercise in and around the Hawaii Islands, before carrying on to Op PROJECTION.

• HMCS Vancouver will participate in KAEDEX with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, a bilateral Canadian-Japanese exercise focused on interoperability, which includes an anti-submarine warfare exercise, tactical manoeuvres, replenishments at sea, and overnight screen exercises.

• Both ships will participate in Ex KEEN SWORD with the U.S. military and the Japan Self-Defence Force (JSDF). This is a biennial exercise designed to increase combat readiness and interoperability of U.S. forces and the JSDF.

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