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Minister Blair announces deployment of Royal Canadian Navy ships to the Indo-Pacific Region

At the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, the Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence, announced the deployment of Royal Canadian Navy vessels in support of Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy.

In the coming days, His Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Vancouver will depart from Esquimalt for Hawaii to take part in Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2024 before proceeding to Operation HORIZON in the Indo-Pacific. HMCS Vancouver will be joined on RIMPAC 24 by HMCS Max Bernays, Motor Vessel Asterix and a shore-based contingent of approximately 300 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members.

Canadian participation in RIMPAC focuses on honing CAF military expertise in the Indo-Pacific region, while fostering multinational relationships and trust between partners and allies. In this year’s iteration of RIMPAC, there will be 29 nations participating, with approximately 40 surface ships, 3 submarines, 14 national land forces, over 150 aircraft and more than 25,000 personnel. Royal Canadian Navy Commodore Kristjan Monaghan has been appointed to command the maritime component of the upcoming RIMPAC 2024, showcasing Canada’s significant contribution and commitment to international maritime cooperation and defence.

RIMPAC is the largest joint and combined maritime exercise in the world, allowing partners and allied navies to practice working and fighting together. This biennial exercise provides invaluable training and development opportunities for the RCN.

Once RIMPAC 24 is concluded, HMCS Vancouver will continue sailing west, across the Pacific Ocean to conduct Operation (Op) HORIZON, Canada’s forward-presence mission in the Indo-Pacific region. HMCS Vancouver is the second Canadian frigate deployed to the region in 2024, with HMCS Montreal currently deployed to the region, and HMCS Ottawa expected to follow in the fall.

This is the second year that the Royal Canadian Navy is deploying three warships to the region each year, building defence partnerships with regional allies and partners, and promoting peace, resilience, and security in the region. The boost to Canada’s naval presence in the region was announced in Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy, released in November 2022.

Since early May, the CAF has also deployed a CP-140 Aurora, long-range patrol aircraft to Japan under Operation NEON, Canada’s contribution toward the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) sanctions imposed against North Korea. HMCS Vancouver will also participate in Op NEON in the coming months, monitoring the implementation of UNSC sanctions against North Korea in collaboration with allies and partners.

At the Shangri-La Dialogue, Minister Blair emphasized that Canada is committed to maintaining a reliable naval presence in the region in support of a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific. Through Canada’s renewed vision for defence, Our North, Strong and Free, Canada is investing an additional $9.9 billion over 20 years to sustain naval vessels, which includes extending the life of the Halifax-class frigates that we routinely deploy to the Indo-Pacific.

“As a Pacific nation, the security and stability of the Indo-Pacific region is vital to Canada’s future. It is the world’s fastest growing region and home to several of our top trading partners. This Canadian naval deployment demonstrates that Canada is a partner for peace, stability and prosperity in the region – and that we are committed to promoting a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific.”

The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence

“RIMPAC is the largest exercise of its kind in the world bar none. It represents the pinnacle of joint military training and I have no doubt that Canadian Armed Forces members will perform admirably. In a time of rising tensions all over the world, security ties are more important than ever, we must ensure that we can provide a united response to any challenge we may face.”

Vice-Admiral Bob Auchterlonie, Commander Canadian Joint Operations Command

“I can think of no better way to begin a six-months long deployment to the Indo-Pacific than participating in RIMPAC. Not only will this allow us to take part in the world’s largest international maritime exercise, but it will set the tone for the rest of our sail in this vital area of the world. Thanks to the hard work and professionalism of the sailors, soldiers, and aviators on Vancouver, I have no doubt that we will be successful throughout our deployment.”

Commander Tyson Bergmann, Commanding Officer of HMCS Vancouver

 

ADDITIONAL INFO

  • Released in November 2022, Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy is a comprehensive and integrated framework for increased Canadian engagement across the Indo-Pacific – and it invests significantly in increasing Canada’s military presence in the region in support of a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific.
  • Additional CAF participation in RIMPAC 2024 includes two shore-based Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CP-140 Aurora Air Detachments and a CH-148 Cyclone helicopter Detachment aboard HMCS Vancouver, an RCN Dive Team, a Canadian Forces Health Service Group Medical Emergency Response Team, a Mobile Surgical Resuscitation Team, and support staff to fill various roles.
  • This is the 29th iteration of RIMPAC, and Canada is one of only three nations to have participated in each one since 1971.
  • Operation HORIZON is Canada’s ongoing forward presence mission to promote peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region and help uphold an international system based on the rule of law by maintaining a persistent and meaningful presence in the region.
  • Operation NEON is Canada’s contribution to the multinational effort to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council sanctions imposed on North Korea. The sanctions aim to pressure North Korea to abandon its weapons of mass destruction programs and respond to North Korean nuclear weapon tests and ballistic missile launches.
  • HMCS Vancouver is a Halifax-class frigate with a crew of approximately 240 personnel comprising RCN sailors as well as RCAF aviators to fly and support the ship’s embarked CH-148 Cyclone maritime helicopter.
  • The CP-140 Aurora is a long-range patrol aircraft fitted with an advanced sensor suite and it has a range of 7,400km, making it very well suited to aerial patrols in support of UN sanctions.

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