Royal Canadian Navy wraps up international naval conference

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Navy News / June 22, 2016

By: Lt(N) Linda Coleman, Public Affairs Officer

“Our naval partnerships with friends and allies – near and far – are crucial and will continue to be in the decades to come.”

These words from Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), kicked off the Inter-American Naval Conference (IANC) on June 12 at the Westin Hotel in Halifax, making it clear that strengthening partnerships between navies is a priority for the RCN.

IANC is a forum that enables cooperation and dialogue as allied navies share their ideas and understanding of maritime issues. Discussions at the conference, including 26 bilateral meetings, aimed to enhance interoperability and allow the RCN and participating navies to work together more effectively in the future.

Why is this cooperation so important? “The economic importance, security interests, and geography of our vast ocean dictate a growing reliance on naval forces to protect national interests and maintain an enduring commitment to international collaboration at sea,” says Vice-Admiral Ron Lloyd, Deputy Commander of the RCN and Canadian representative during IANC.

Partnerships built and maintained at IANC will continue to enable joint operations and exercises such as CARIBBE, NANOOK, TRADEWINDS and RIMPAC, as well as initiatives such as Op REGULUS, which is an exchange program that helps foster relationships with allied navies.

“As partners, we can achieve a greater understanding of the global maritime domain through a more robust approach to the intelligence and assessment functions and an understanding developed from global engagements, long-term regional partners, alliances, and security organizations in our region,” added Rear-Admiral John Newton, Commander of Maritime Forces Atlantic and Secretary General of IANC this year.

The RCN was proud to host IANC for the first time ever, and to extend a true Canadian welcome to naval delegations from 14 countries in the Americas. Delegates and their spouses, many of whom had never been to Canada, were offered the opportunity to immerse themselves in events and excursions introducing them to Canadian and Nova Scotian hospitality and culture, including food, museums, music and history.

IANC was established in 1959 and is held every two years. This year marked the 27th event, and took place in Halifax from June 12-17, 2016. The next IANC is scheduled to be hosted by the Armada Nacional in Colombia in 2018.