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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

HMCS Vancouver arrived in Ho Chi Minh City

DND Press Release

Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Vancouver arrived in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, yesterday to conduct a goodwill visit as part of WESTPLOY 16.

WESTPLOY 16 is HMCS Vancouver’s deployment aimed at building strong ties between the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) and the navies of Asia-Pacific countries while also promoting peace and security in the region.

HMCS Vancouver is engaging in a variety of training opportunities with foreign navies which provide a unique opportunity for the RCN to foster and sustain cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans.

“During this visit, HMCS Vancouver will continue Canada’s defence dialogue with Vietnam and undertake outreach projects that cultivate goodwill between our nations," said Commodore Jeff Zwick, Commander Canadian Fleet Pacific. "As the ship carries on conducting operations in the Pacific she will foster increased relations and inter-operability among nations including Australia, Singapore, and New Zealand. Throughout WESTPLOY 16, she will serve as an excellent ambassador for Canada by showcasing the professionalism of the Royal Canadian Navy personnel, as well as demonstrating the enhanced capabilities of our Post-Halifax-Class-Modernization Warships, while conducting realistic and essential training for her more than 200 sailors.”

This deployment of HMCS Vancouver, along with an embarked CH-124 Sea King helicopter and air detachment, will test and evolve the warfighting capabilities of the Halifax-Class warships after upgrades to equipment that were made as part of the Halifax-Class Modernization/Frigate Life Extension project.

HMCS Vancouver’s deployment underlines the strategic importance of the Asia-Pacific region, of increasing international interest in the area, and of the unique opportunities to demonstrate interoperability with partner navies.

Since departing its home port of Esquimalt, British Columbia, in June, HMCS Vancouver has operated extensively throughout the Pacific region, including participation in RIMPAC and KAKADU.

KAKADU, held September 12-24, 2016, is a joint, biennial exercise hosted by the Royal Australian Navy and supported by the Royal Australian Air Force, with 20 nations participating: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Fiji, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste, Tonga, United States of America, and Vietnam.

RIMPAC, conducted June 30 to August 4, in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California, is the world's largest international maritime exercise, involving 26 nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft, and over 25,000 personnel participating this year.

The Halifax-Class Modernization/Frigate Life Extension project is providing state-of-the-art upgrades, allowing Canada’s fleet of 12 Halifax-Class frigates to meet 21st century threats. The modernization of this fleet includes a new Combat Management System procured from Lockheed Martin Canada, as well as new radar capability, a new electronic warfare system, and upgraded communications technologies and missiles. The modernized frigates also boast new systems that offer better damage control, as well as more modern electrical and machinery control.

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 REASSURANCE, and Operation ARTEMIS are examples of how we protect Canada's interests on the international stage.