HMCS Vancouver and HMCS Winnipeg in Indo-Pacific region for Operations PROJECTION and NEON
August 15, 2022 – Ottawa, ON – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces
Following their participation in RIMPAC, Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships (HMCS) Vancouver and Winnipeg continue to operate in the Indo-Pacific, where they will remain deployed until December 2022, on Operation (Op) PROJECTION and Operation NEON.
As part of Op PROJECTION, HMCS Vancouver and HMCS Winnipeg will participate in bilateral and multinational training exercises and engage with regional militaries and other international security partners in order to reinforce collective defence and promote stability in the region. The two frigates sailed across the Pacific together to Hawaii, and are now proceeding independently, with HMCS Winnipeg to South East Asia and HMCS Vancouver to North East Asia. They will also sail in the international waters of the East and South China Seas, both independently and as part of cooperative deployments with allied and partner nations.
While in North East Asia, for a period of roughly two months, HMCS Vancouver will also contribute to the monitoring of United Nations sanctions against North Korea through Op NEON. A CP-140 Aurora long range patrol aircraft will also deploy at a later date to support this mission and will operate out of Kadena Air base in Okinawa, Japan. HMCS Winnipeg will continue operating in the Indo-Pacific region as part of Canada’s ongoing commitment to peace and security in the region.
“Canada is a Pacific nation and believes deeply in the importance of the Indo-Pacific region to global stability and prosperity. Through contributions like Operation PROJECTION and Operation NEON, Canada will continue to work with allies and partners to bolster the rules-based international order in the region. I thank all members of the Royal Canadian Navy and Royal Canadian Air Force who are involved with this important mission.”
The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of National Defence
“Canada’s defence contributions to the Indo-Pacific region are significant. Working closely with our partners in the region has never been more important than it is today. The deployment of Canadian Armed Forces frigates and surveillance aircraft to the region is a visible display of our continued commitment toward protecting regional security and maintaining a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific.”
General Wayne Eyre, Chief of the Defence Staff
HMCS Winnipeg and Vancouver departed Canada on June 14, 2022, and participated in Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022, which brought together over 25,000 personnel from 26 nations for the world’s premier joint and combined maritime exercise in and around the Hawaii Islands, before carrying on to Op PROJECTION. During RIMPAC 2022, Canada occupied several key leadership positions, with Rear-Admiral Christopher Robinson as the Deputy Commander Combined Task Force RIMPAC, Brigadier-General Mark Goulden as the Commander Combined Force Air Component Command, and Captain (Navy) Doug Layton as the Deputy Commander Combined Force Maritime Component Command.
This is the eighth Op PROJECTION deployment to the Indo-Pacific, which seeks to increase Canada’s presence in the region in order to contribute to its security and stability. The frigates will participate in a number of signature exercises, engage with allied and partner navies, and conduct port visits in Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand, and the United States.
Royal Canadian Navy frigates have a crew of approximately 230 personnel comprised of Royal Canadian Navy sailors and a Royal Canadian Air Force detachment to fly and support the ship’s embarked CH-148 maritime helicopter. A CP-140 Aurora with an air detachment of approximately 40 personnel will deploy later in the fall timeframe in support of Op NEON.
Since 2018, Canada has maintained a near-persistent presence in the waters of the Indo-Pacific through Op PROJECTION and Op NEON.
Op NEON is Canada’s contribution to monitor United Nations Security Council sanctions imposed against North Korea. This is the seventh time that the CAF has deployed in support of this mission since 2018. During the mission, the CAF conducts surveillance operations to identify suspected maritime sanctions evasion activities, in particular ship-to-ship transfers of fuel and other commodities banned by the UNSC resolutions. In April 2021, the Government of Canada extended the mission until the end of April 2023.
The last iteration of Op PROJECTION was the deployment of HMCS Winnipeg from 17 August to 16 December, 2021, to conduct forward naval presence operations, cooperative deployments and participate in international naval exercises with partner nations in the region. During their deployment they also supported Op NEON.
The last time the Canadian Armed Forces deployed in support of Op NEON was from April 26 to May 26, 2022, with a CP-140 Aurora long range patrol aircraft along with supporting personnel to Kadena, Japan.
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