Thursday, March 22, 2018

HMCS Chinoutimi Returns from Longest-Ever Victoria-Class Submarine Deployment

Royal Canadian Navy Press Release

HMCS Chicoutimi has returned to CFB Esquimalt, B.C. after a 197-day deployment in the Asia-Pacific region, marking a historic milestone for the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) submarine fleet after a nearly 50-year absence from the region. The deployment included numerous opportunities for HMCS Chicoutimi to operate with regional partner navies such as the United States Navy, the Japan Maritime Self Defence Force, The Royal Australian Navy and the French Navy. As part of her deployment, HMCS Chicoutimi visited Yokosuka, Japan, further strengthening the relationship between our two countries. 

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HMCS Chicoutimi file Photo. (The Canadian Encyclopedia) 
“HMCS Chicoutimi’s successful six-month deployment to the Asia-Pacific region is a historic 50-year milestone for the Royal Canadian Navy and our Victoria-Class submarine,” said Harjit S. Sajjan, Defence Minister.

“I am incredibly proud of the work done by the submariners on board HMCS Chicoutimi. Their consistent dedication and professionalism is an inspiration. The advantage that submarines can bring to a battle space cannot be underestimated. They are stealthy, lethal, and persistent. They are an important strategic asset that the Canadian Armed Forces brings to the table when working with our partners and allies around the world,” said Vice-Admiral Ron Lloyd, Commander Royal Canadian Navy.

“HMCS Chicoutimi conducted a well-executed patrol to the Asia-Pacific region to operate with our partners, and allies – a clear signal of the strategic importance of the region to Canada, that reinforces Canada’s commitment to the maintenance of regional peace, and security,” said Captain (N) Chris Robinson, Commander Canadian Submarine Force.

HMCS Chicoutimi deployed on patrol in the Asia-Pacific region as part of a strategic engagement mission, for 197 days. This is the longest Victoria-class deployment to date. Prior to this the longest Victoria-class single deployment was a 101-day North Atlantic patrol by HMCS Windsor in 2015. HMCS Windsor is once again deployed, currently supporting NATO operations in the Mediterranean Sea.

HMCS Chicoutimi operated with the Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) and the United States Navy (USN) for several months, a period which included participation in the annual USN-JMSDF ANNUALEX – a three week bi-lateral exercise which was made tri-lateral for the first time with the inclusion of Canada in 2017.

HMCS Chicoutimi visited Hawaii, Guam, and Japan during the six-month deployment. The visit to Yokosuka, Japan was the first by a Canadian submarine since the visit by HMCS Grilse in May 1968.

HMCS Chicoutimi conducted two Rest and Maintenance Periods, in Japan and the US territory of Guam, supported by deployed maintenance teams from the RCN Fleet Maintenance Facility based in Esquimalt. These periods further refined processes for deployed maintenance and support activities.

HMCS Chicoutimi is one of four Victoria-class submarines in the RCN. Chicoutimi along with HMCS Victoria and HMCS Corner Brook are based out of CFB Esquimalt, while HMCS Windsor is based at CFB Halifax in Nova Scotia.

Victoria-class submarines are extremely versatile, allowing them to operate in any weather condition for periods of up to 45 days, and perform in a variety of roles to fulfill Canada’s requirements for a balanced, multi-purpose and combat-effective naval fleet.

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