HMCS Fredericton latest ship to deploy on Op REASSURANCE

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Navy News / February 24, 2020

By Ryan Melanson

The next chapter in the Royal Canadian Navy’s (RCN’s) ongoing commitment to Operation REASSURANCE got started on January 20 with Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Fredericton departing Halifax for a six-month deployment to the Mediterranean.

Fredericton’s deployment marks the 13th time a Canadian vessel has sailed to the region since the RCN began supporting the mission in 2014.

The ship and its crew will join Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2), which is in place to reinforce NATO’s collective defence and assure Central and Eastern European allies of their security and stability in the face of Russian aggression and other regional threats.

Family, friends and colleagues gathered on the jetty in the morning to say goodbye to crew members and see the ship off, with dignitaries including local MPs and the Honourable Arthur J. LeBlanc, Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, and Her Honour Patsy LeBlanc.

Commodore (Cmdre) Richard Feltham, the Commander of Canadian Fleet Atlantic, expressed pride in the ship’s crew, which completed a long road of training and readiness work-ups to prepare for the deployment, and both the military and civilian shore staff who supported them along the way.

He thanked the team at Fleet Maintenance Facility Cape Scott for their efforts in getting the ship ready to sail, as well as personnel from the Sea Training Group, which were involved in the work-ups process to prepare Fredericton for deployment.

The departure and homecoming ceremonies held for these extended deployments tend to focus on family, who provide crucial support to deployed sailors, taking on extra burdens to allow them to focus on the tasks at sea rather than worrying about day-to-day issues back home.

“The love and support of all the family members gathered here today is incredibly important. I want to give a personal thank-you to each and every one of them,” said Commander (Cdr) Blair Brown, Fredericton’s Commanding Officer.

“There’s a lot of excitement on board, and we know we’ll face challenges that are lying ahead, but we have a fantastic crew and it’s an honour and a privilege to serve alongside these sailors.”

Cdr Brown also thanked the Halifax and Region Military Family Resource Centre for its support to sailors and families leading up to the mission, and the continued support and resources they’ll provide to their families in the months ahead.

Fredericton is now expected to join NATO partners with SNMG2 in the Mediterranean in the coming weeks, beginning a program of patrols, interoperability exercises and port visits, all designed to strengthen Canada’s relationships with allies while strengthening NATO’s maritime presence.

Courtesy of Trident Newspaper