HMCS St. John's next Canadian ship to deploy on Operation REASSURANCE in support of Standing NATO Maritime Group 2

News Release

December 19, 2016 - Ottawa - National Defence / Royal Canadian Navy

Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) St. John’s has been selected as the next Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) ship to deploy on Operation REASSURANCE in early 2017, to support Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG 2) in the Mediterranean contributing to regional security and stability.

The deployment of HMCS St. John’s demonstrates Canada’s commitment and continued support to NATO assurance and deterrence measures in Central and Eastern Europe. HMCS St. John’s will depart Halifax in mid-January, replacing HMCS Charlottetown which has been serving with SNMG 2 since July 2016.


“I am extremely proud of the hard work and dedication displayed by of the Captain and crew of HMCS St. John’s in preparation for their upcoming mission. They will be excellent ambassadors as they work alongside NATO allies during Operation REASSURANCE. They will play a key role in strengthening international and regional stability and as part of a modern, globally deployable fleet, St. John’s presence ensures the Navy continues to influence global events while representing and defending Canadian interests abroad.

— Rear-Admiral John Newton, Commander Maritime Forces Atlantic

“As Captain of HMCS St. John’s I am incredibly proud of the team that has pulled together to make this hull come to life. Everyday their work ethic, positive attitude and talent impress and I have no doubt that we will excel at any mission assigned to us by the Government of Canada. Over the last number of months we have honed our skills and with the fantastic support of the civilian and military staffs that make up Maritime Forces Atlantic I know that St. John’s is in all respects ready for the challenges of Operation REASSURANCE.”

— Commander Sheldon Gillis, Commanding Officer, Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship St. John’s

Quick Facts

  • HMCS St. John’s conducted high readiness training as part of SPARTAN WARRIOR 16. The ship then conducted a successful Evolved Sea Sparrow missile shoot in late November as part of high readiness preparations for Operation REASSURANCE.

  • HMCS St. John’s upcoming deployment is a continuation of a range of military activities undertaken by the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) to support NATO assurance and deterrence measures through the provision of military capabilities for training, exercises, demonstrations and assigned NATO tasks and demonstrates Canada’s commitment to promote security and stability in Central and Eastern Europe.

  • HMCS St. John’s is the sixth Royal Canadian Navy ship and the fourth modernized Halifax-class frigate to deploy in support of NATO assurance measures in Europe since April 2014. The ship will provide Canada the flexibility to execute a range of missions across a broad spectrum of operations in support of allied efforts in the region, including surveillance and monitoring, regional defence, diplomatic engagement and capacity building.

  • Standing NATO Maritime Groups are multinational, integrated maritime task groups made up of vessels from various Allied countries. These vessels are permanently available to NATO to perform different tasks ranging from exercises to operational missions. They also help to establish Alliance presence, demonstrate solidarity, conduct routine diplomatic visits to different countries, support partner engagement, and provide a variety of maritime military capabilities to ongoing missions.

  • HMCS St. John’s completed the Halifax-class Modernization/ Frigate Life Extension (HCM/FELEX) program in October 2015 and is ready to deploy in support of Government of Canada objectives. The program provided the ship with a new Combat Management System, new radar capability, a new electronic warfare system upgrade, upgraded communications and missiles, as well as a new Integrated Platform Management System.

  • HMCS St. John’s is a Halifax-class frigate with a crew of approximately 240 personnel of all ranks, including an Enhanced Naval Boarding Party and a CH-124 Sea King helicopter air detachment.

  • The ship’s Enhanced Naval Boarding Party is a specialized team that is capable of executing a full range of maritime interdiction operations.

  • HMCS St. John’s last international deployment was in March 2012 when the ship deployed on Operation CARIBBE, Canada’s contribution to Operation MARTILLO, a multinational campaign to counter transnational criminal organizations in the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea.  

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