Friday, April 17, 2015

HMCS Iroquois Retiring after 43 years

The Canadian Armed Forces - Maritime Forces Atlantic is encouraging all serving and retired members who served aboard HMCS Iroquois to RSVP to the "Paying Off" Ceremony on may 1st in Halifax, Nova Scotia

HMCS Iroquois is concluding more than four decades of Service to the Royal Canadian Navy, its achievements symbolize the excellent workmanship and special comradery of her crew over the years. HMCS Iroquois has been a valued service to all Canadians.

Her hull was laid down on January 15, 1969, and launched on November 28, 1970. The official commissioned date into the RCN was July 29, 1972. Her official decommissioned date will be set as May 1, 2015.

Between 1972 and 1992, HMCS Iroquois took ppart in more than 40 major exercises and 6 Standing Naval Force Atlantic Deployments.

In 1984 the Destroyer responded to assist the HO MING 5, a Panamanian freighter. 11 Crew were removed by Sea King helicopter, 9 additional crew were removed by Zodiac. 12 of the Iroquois' crew were awarded the Star of Courage, with another 6 receiving the Medal of Bravery.

In 1989, the Destroyer began its TRUMP refit in Sorel, Quebec. The refit would be complete by 1992.

In 1993, HMCS Iroquois deployed on Operation SHARP GUARD off the coast of the former Yugoslavia. Its duties were to blockade the coast. It would be relieved by HMCS Halifax in April 1994.

In 2000 it was deployed on exchange to Norfolk, US Navy Yard.

In  November 2001 Iroquois was deployed with HMCS Preserver and HMCS Charlottetown as part of Operation APOLLO in the Arabian Sea. Would remain deployed until April 2002.

In 2002, deployed to Bahrain and the Suez Canal.

In 2003, deployed to Combined Task Force 151 in the Persian Gulf.

February 2003, a Sea King Helicopter crashes on the deck, and is forced to return to Halifax for repairs. By March HMCS Iroquois and HMCS Fredericton deploy to the Persian Gulf.

Deployed to Gibraltar and Augusta in March 2003. Valletta and Gibraltar in July 2003.

Deployed on Operation ALTAIR STARTS in 2004.

Throughout 2006, HMCS Iroquois was deployed to various international naval squadrons, in Brest, Aarhus, Solent, Plymouth Sound, Tota, Souda Ba, Palma de Majorca.

In November 2006 responded to the USS Boone when it lost its rudder in the Mediterranean.

In 2008, was deployed to the Carribean on Operation CARIBBE. Returned to the Mediterranean Sea in May of 2008, took part in Multinational ASW Scenario. Later deployed on Combined Task Force-150 as the CTF-150 Flagship. for the remainder of 2008.

In 2009 HMCS Iroquois visits Bermuda.

In 2012 HMCS Iroquois visits Brooklyn (Fleet Week), Baltimore (Star Spangled Sailibration), and Boston (Fleet Week and Op SAIL 2012)

In 2013, she visits Canary Wharf, Le Havre, Hamburg, and Liverpool.

Her journey came to an end while visiting Boston in May of 2014, where fatigue cracks were found in the hull, and returned to Halifax, and has been out of service since.

For a Detailed paper witten by Colin Darlington, a retired Canadian Naval Officer, please see the Ottawa Citizen's Defence Watch