Some Canadian military members from CFB Esquimalt set sail on Friday morning to participate in one of the world’s largest annual multinational maritime exercise.
The crew onboard the HMCS Regina departed Vancouver Island at 8:30 am PDT on July 31 and will be headed for the waters around Hawaii to join the Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC).
The second warship, HMCS Winnipeg, will depart on Sunday, Aug. 2 in order to join the HMCS Regina at sea.
RIMPAC 2020 is the 27th edition of the maritime exercise, which is organized by the U.S. Navy and takes place every two years. In order to address health and safety concerns amid the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers have said that the exercise has been redesigned this year and will centre around the maritime element exclusively.
“Our very ability to participate in this exercise during a period of restricted international travel demonstrates the inherent flexibility of maritime forces. We look forward to working alongside allies and partners to foster trust while strengthening our operational capabilities,” said Captain Scott Robinson, Canadian Task Group Commander.
According to a Royal Canadian Navy press release, both warships departing Esquimalt will be augmented with Cyclone air detachments from 443 Squadron in Victoria. Canada has participated in every RIMPAC since it began in 1971, however, this is the first time Cyclone helicopters will be involved.
“Canadians recognize our security and prosperity are increasingly affected by events across the Asia-Pacific. Our longstanding participation in RIMPAC reflects our commitment to developing constructive multilateral partnerships in order to promote peace and security in the region,” said Commodore Angus Topshee, Commander Canadian Fleet Pacific.
According to organizers, RIMPAC is “designed to foster and sustain cooperative military relationships amongst nations seeking to promote peace and security in the Asia Pacific Region.”
The at-sea only exercise will run from August 17 to 31.
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