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RCN Ships to Join Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures in Europe

His Majesty’s Canadian Ships (HMCS) Shawinigan and Summerside depart their homeport of Halifax, N.S., to join Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 (SNMCMG1) on Operation REASSURANCE.

The contribution of two Kingston-class Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels (MCDV) to SNMCMG1 demonstrates Canada’s ongoing commitment to NATO’s high readiness continuous at-sea presence, and the Royal Canadian Navy’s leadership on the world stage to work alongside Allies to strengthen security throughout European waters.

This will be the second full-length deployment for HMCS Summerside and the first deployment for HMCS Shawinigan on Operation REASSURANCE. Both ships have embarked Royal Canadian Navy clearance diving teams from Fleet Diving Units Atlantic and Pacific, and mine countermeasure search capabilities using autonomous underwater vehicles.

The deployment of HMCS Summerside and Shawinigan follows on the deployment of HMCS Fredericton, which has been serving with Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 in the Mediterranean since January 2023.

“This deployment of two Royal Canadian Navy ships under Operation REASSURANCE demonstrates Canada’s ironclad commitment to Euro-Atlantic security. Canada will continue to make tangible contributions to NATO maritime operations. To the companies of HMCS Shawinigan and HMCS Summerside – I wish you fair winds and following seas, and I thank you for your service.” The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of National Defence

“I am very proud of the professionalism and dedication of our sailors as they head out to represent the Royal Canadian Navy on Operation REASSURANCE and demonstrate Canada’s commitment to NATO mine countermeasures in European waters. The participation of HMCSShawinigan and Summerside alongside our NATO Allies ensures security in the region and showcases the ability of our sailors to operate within the NATO Fleet.” Vice-Admiral Angus Topshee, Commander Royal Canadian Navy

“The support of HMCS Summerside and Shawinigan to NATO Standing Naval Forces demonstrates the flexibility and capabilities of the Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels and their ability to execute a range of missions. I am proud of the dedicated sailors supporting this mission and confident that they will represent the Royal Canadian Navy with pride and professionalism.” Rear-Admiral Josée Kurtz, Commander Maritime Forces Atlantic and Joint Task Force Atlantic

 

ADDITIONAL INFO

• Canada has deployed Royal Canadian Navy ships on Operation REASSURANCE on a continuous, rotational basis since 2014, following Russia’s illegal invasion of Crimea.

• Deploying Royal Canadian Navy ships in support of NATO provides Canada with the flexibility to execute a range of exercises and operations in real training environments with our Allies. This helps support the Alliance efforts in the Baltic region, including surveillance, monitoring, and diplomatic engagement.

• SNMCMG1 is one of four Standing Naval Forces that operate under NATO Allied Maritime Command, headquartered in Northwood, United Kingdom.

• NATO Standing Naval Forces are multinational, integrated, maritime forces made up of vessels from various Allied countries which 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 is Canada’s largest current international military operation. In addition to a persistent naval presence in European waters, it includes the Canada-led multinational NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group Latvia, and a Tactical Air Lift Detachment based out of Prestwick, Scotland.

• HMCS Shawinigan and Summerside are Kingston-class MCDVs with a ship’s company of approximately 45 personnel of all ranks for a combined total of 90 sailors. The MCDVs are a modular platform which can accommodate several types of mission specific payloads offering the Royal Canadian Navy a large degree of flexibility in support of Allies.

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