Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Pacific Fleet Departs for RIMPAC

DND Press Release

June 13, 2016 – Esquimalt, B.C. – National Defence / Maritime Forces Pacific

Halifax-class warships Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships (HMCS) Calgary and Vancouver, and their nearly 500 sailors departed Esquimalt Harbour today to participate in Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC), the world’s largest international maritime exercise. Taking place from June 30 to August 4, in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California, the exercise will allow the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) to enhance interoperability for a wide range of potential operations and strengthen partnerships with other Navies.

Joining the Halifax-class warships will be Kingston-class warships HMCS Saskatoon and Yellowknife, and their nearly 80 sailors. Departing next week for the waters off Southern California, the warships will conduct coastal operations with other Navies and diving units.

Beyond their exercise responsibilities, the Kingston-class warships will also carry out testing and exercises using advanced mine countermeasure equipment, thereby reducing risk to sailors and warships while increasing interoperability with allied nations.

HMCS Calgary and HMCS Vancouver will test weapons systems and upgrades to their equipment. RIMPAC will allow RCN warships to test electronic countermeasures designed to better protect sailors and warships operating in war zones, and fire Evolved Sea Sparrow and Harpoon missiles as well as heavyweight torpedoes to increase the warfighting capabilities of the Halifax-class warships.

“Participation in RIMPAC allows the Royal Canadian Navy to work together with our partner nations while providing unique training opportunities for our sailors to maintain and enhance operational readiness. These opportunities allow our sailors to continue to develop and deepen partnerships with countries from the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.” - Commodore Jeff Zwick, Commander Canadian Fleet Pacific

Quick Facts
Captain (Navy) Jason Boyd, Director New Capability Introduction for the RCN, will be the Sea Combat Commander for the USS John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group. Embarked in HMCS Calgary, he will be responsible to direct naval combat operations for up to 10 international warships in the Carrier Strike Group.

The Royal Canadian Navy has both domestic and international roles. At home, maritime defence and security is the Navy’s first priority in ensuring that Canada’s maritime approaches are effectively monitored and protected. Canada also needs naval forces with the ability to act internationally — whenever and wherever issues arise that threaten our national interests.

The RCN remains very active internationally by conducting maritime security operations, including intercepting narcotics shipments in the Caribbean and conducting counter-terrorism patrols in the Arabian Sea. Operation CARIBBE, Operation REASURRANCE, and Operation ARTEMIS are examples of how we protect Canada's interests on the international stage.

The Pacific Fleet is home to 11 warships and two submarines. It is also home to thousands of sailors, soldiers, airmen, airwomen, and their families — all of whom make up the extended fleet family. With the support of Her Majesty’s Canadian Dockyard and the number of support and maintenance facilities, the Pacific Fleet generates and operates balanced, multi-purpose maritime forces to support domestic and international Canadian security operations.