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  

Thursday, April 16, 2015

HMCS Athabaskan to deploy to Op CARIBBE

DND announced today that HMCS Athabaskan left Halifax, Nova Scotia today deploy to Op CARIBBE - as part of Canada's contribution to the multinational campaign against trafficking and crime in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean.

This deployment marks the sixth Royal Canadian Navy Ship to deploy on Op CARIBBE in 2015, and the third from the Atlantic Fleet.

HMCS Athabaskan will also participate in the Bicentennial of the Battle of New Orleans, commemorating the final battle of the War of 1812 during the week long planned celebrations in New Orleans.

HMCS Athabaskan was previously deployed on Op CARIBBE in the fall of 2014, and assisted in the seizing of 820 kg of cocaine.

HMCS Athabaskan is replacing HMCS Whitehorse and HMCS Nanaimo which returned yesterday to Esquimalt, Britich Columbia.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

United for Ukraine: CAF to deploy 200 Troops to the Ukraine

Defence Minister Jason Kenney and Chief of Defence Staff General Tom Lawson announced with Prime Minister Stephen Harper that the Canadian Armed Forces and Canada is United for Ukraine; and will deploy approximately 200 troops to the Ukraine to help train local forces, who are fighting the Russian-backed separatists. Approximately 10-12 Military Police will be part of the deployment - to better train the police forces in the region as well.

The CAF members will be deployed both on a sustained and periodic basis, depending on the type of training, which will last until the end of March 2017.

Kenney said that this is yet another step in Canada's efforts to help the Ukraine maintain its territorial integrity against Russian aggression.

It was announced that Canadian troops will be as far removed from the conflict in Eastern Ukraine.

The training mission will begin during the summer of 2015 - and will take place primarily at the NATO training facility in Yavoriv, in Western Ukraine, near the Polish border. Other training will take place at the Ukrainian Defence De-mining Centre  in Kamyanets-Podilsky - also located in Western Ukraine. The Polish border is Canada's exit strategy, should the unthinkable happen, and Canadian troops are required to exit the Ukraine in a hurry.

Since January 2014, Canada has been sending non-lethal aid to the Ukraine, and has continued to refuse lethal aid. The Ukrainian embassy in Canada has said Canada's training assistance is highly appreciated.

Canada in Iraq: Four CF-18's Target ISIS

An RCAF CF-18 over Iraq, Novemver, 2014. Photo: Department of National Defence. 

DND announced yesterday that on April 11, 2015, Two RCAF CF-18's bombed and ISIS fighting position near Mosul, Iraq. On the same day, Two more RACF CF-18's destroyed an ISIS vehicle based improvised explosive device. No further details were released by DND.