Defence Minister Concludes Visit to RIMPAC 2016

news_release2016

NEWS RELEASE

Defence Minister Concludes Visit to RIMPAC 2016

July 22, 2016 – Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

As part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to maintaining strong, multilateral ties with allies in the Asia-Pacific region, Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan today concluded a successful visit with Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel and international partners in the region of the Hawaiian Islands during the world’s largest international maritime exercise, Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2016.

During his visit, Minister Sajjan met with some of the 1,500 Canadian sailors, soldiers, airwomen, and airmen participating in this year’s exercise, and received operational briefings from RIMPAC leadership.

Minister Sajjan visited Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship Calgary, one of two modernized Canadian Patrol Frigates currently deployed on RIMPAC. While at sea, Minister Sajjan met with the ship’s company and observed gunnery, ship boarding, and air defence training.  

Minister Sajjan also spent time with Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) personnel deployed as part of the Air Task Force (ATF). The ATF deployed to RIMPAC 2016 represents one of the largest deployments of RCAF assets to an exercise in recent history and is composed of elements from each of Canada’s air combat capabilities.

The Canadian contribution to RIMPAC 2016 underlines the strategic importance of the Asia-Pacific region, of increasing international interest in the area, and of unique opportunities to demonstrate interoperability with partner military forces. RIMPAC 2016 provides a unique training opportunity that allows participants to foster and sustain cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans.

QUOTES

“The Canadian Armed Forces’ participation in RIMPAC 2016 underscores Canada’s commitment to maintaining strong, productive ties with our partners and allies in the Asia Pacific region. While it is always an honour to spend time with our soldiers, sailors, airwomen, and airmen, seeing firsthand their seamless interaction with our Allies at RIMPAC 2016 was a true privilege. This opportunity for real-world training is unparalleled and contributes to the readiness of our forces, allowing Canada to continue to make important contributions to military operations around the world.”

Harjit S. Sajjan, Defence Minister

“I know firsthand what a great experience this exercise will be for the more than 1,500 Canadian Armed Forces personnel who are participating – whether here in Hawaii or Southern California. From the most senior commander to the newest private and ordinary seaman, the lessons learned during RIMPAC 2016 will pay dividends throughout their careers. They’ll also have the opportunity to work with many other nations in the Asia Pacific region. The relationships and mutual understanding they will build with our security partners will be invaluable to any Canadian Armed Forces operation in the future.”

Rear-Admiral Scott Bishop, Deputy Commander Combined Task Force RIMPAC 2016

QUICK FACTS

  • RIMPAC 16 is the 25th exercise in this series and Canada has participated in every iteration since its inception in 1971.
  • The Royal Canadian Air Force has sent a total of 20 aircraft to RIMPAC, including CF-18 Hornets, CP-140 Auroras, CC-130 Hercules, CH-146 Griffons, CH-147 Chinooks and a CH-124 Sea King.
  • HMCS Calgary completed its Halifax-Class Modernization/ Frigate Life Extension (HCM/FELEX) in 2014. The program represents an investment of $4.3 billion and will allow the frigates to serve the Navy until the early-to-mid-2030s.
  • HCM/FELEX is a highly complex and collaborative effort between DND, the Navy, and more than thirty companies within the Canadian shipbuilding industry. Together, they have been working to deliver a first-class capability, on-time and on-budget while also ensuring robust economic benefits to Canada.
  • The modernization of this fleet includes a new Combat Management System procured from Lockheed Martin Canada, as well as new radar capability, a new electronic warfare system, and upgraded communications technologies and missiles.
  • Twenty-six nations, more than 45 ships, five submarines, 200 aircraft, and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC 2016.

Filed Under: News Release

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