Tuesday, February 21, 2017

HMCS Moncton and Summerside Sail toward West Africa for NEPTUNE TRIDENT

DND Press Release 

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HMCS Moncton at Sea (DND File Photo)
Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships (HMCS) Summerside and Moncton, both Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels (MCDV), sailed for West Africa today to participate in Neptune Trident 17-01. Neptune Trident 17-01 is the overarching Royal Canadian Navy deployment to West Africa, and includes engagements with West African nations to support joint training and foster relationships in the Gulf of Guinea region.

While deployed, the Kingston Class Coastal Defence Vessels HMCS Summerside and Moncton, and a detachment of personnel from the Maritime Tactical Operations Group (MTOG) will also participate in Obangame Express 2017, an at-sea maritime training event led by U.S. Naval Forces Africa. MTOG will work with regional partners to support joint training for maritime interdiction which aims to delay, disrupt, or destroy criminal or enemy forces or supplies en route at sea. Obangame Express 2017 is designed to improve cooperation among participating nations in order to increase maritime safety and security in the region.

“The Royal Canadian Navy’s participation in Neptune Trident 17-01 demonstrates Canada’s ongoing commitment to conduct international multi-ship readiness training with like-minded nations. This is an exceptional opportunity for the RCN to work in cooperation with global partners in joint training activities to promote Canada’s ability to successfully work together with partners and allies on multinational operations and missions.” said  Harjit Singh Sajjan, Minister of National Defence

“The officers and sailors of HMC Ships Summerside and Moncton will be exceptional ambassadors of Canada during this important work in West Africa. Neptune Trident is an exceptional opportunity for the operational competencies of the Royal Canadian Navy to be used in a capacity building undertaking in an area of stated interest by the Government of Canada. Already, we have learned so much from the planning of this deployment and through staff visits with African counterparts and look forward to building on the lessons learned from the deployment. I wish the ship’s companies of Summerside and Moncton a most rewarding and memorable deployment.” said Rear Admiral John Newton, Commander Joint Task Force Atlantic and Commander Maritime Forces Atlantic

Previous RCN engagements in the vicinity of the Gulf of Guinea include:
  • HMCS Toronto – Circumnavigated Africa as part of Standing NATO Maritime Group 1, 2007
  • HMCS Fredericton – Op Chabanal. Assistance to RCMP counter-drug interdiction off Angola, April-May 2006
  • HMCS Halifax – Demo of Canadian Patrol Frigate to South Africa, with port visits enroute, 1997
  • HMCS Quebec (cruiser) – Circumnavigation of Africa. A training cruise that constituted first RCN port visits anywhere outside of the Med-Suez-Red Sea route, January-April 1955

MTOG includes specially trained teams prepared to confront a variety of threats in high-risk maritime environments. They deploy onboard Halifax-class frigates and Kingston-class maritime coastal defence vessels and can also deploy ashore on operations. Teams are prepared for inspections and searches for illegal cargo but are also trained in hand-to-hand combat, improvised explosive device identification, close quarters fighting, and tactical shooting.

Port Visits by HMCS Summerside and HMCS Moncton during Neptune Trident 17-01 aim to improve cooperation among participating nations in order to increase maritime safety and security in the Gulf of Guinea. They include:
  • Canary Islands
  • Senegal
  • Sierra Leone
  • Liberia
  • Côte d'Ivoire
Obangame Express takes place in the Gulf of Guinea with signatory nations of the Yaoundé Code of Conduct and involves numerous African partners, including Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo, Cabo Verde, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Liberia, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sao Tome and Principe, and Togo.

Obangame, which means “togetherness,” comes from the Fang language of southern Cameroon and other parts of Central Africa.

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