From the Admiral

Rear-Admiral Gilles Couturier Commander MARPAC/JTFP

Rear-Admiral Gilles Couturier


HMCS Winnipeg welcome home

On Feb. 23 HMCS Winnipeg returns to be re-united with families and friends after an extremely successful eight-and-a-half month deployment.

I would like to extend my sincerest congratulations to the entire crew of HMCS Winnipeg for your devotion to duty, excellence at sea, and resilience in the face of many challenges. You have come together as a ship’s company and demonstrated to all our allies the Royal Canadian Navy’s capability and commitment to international maritime security.

The focus of your mission was the six-months spent on Operation Reassurance, during which time you served with two Standing NATO Maritime Groups in support of NATO’s mission to build maritime situational awareness in the Mediterranean Sea and European waters. Your work on Reassurance has strengthened our reputation in NATO as a dependable ally and skilled fighting force.

It is also important to recognise that you were engaged in operations both before and after Operation Reassurance. Upon the start of the deployment, you conducted surveillance patrols in the eastern Pacific Ocean in support of Operation Caribbe, and on your return transit to Canada, you participated in counterterrorism and maritime security operations in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean in support of Operation Artemis.

During the final month of your deployment, you continued to further Canada’s Strategic interests through port visits in India, Malaysia, Singapore, and Japan. During your visits you promoted Canada’s security and national interests and advanced the RCN’s interoperability with other navies.

Since starting this extensive mission in June 2015, you have circumnavigated the globe and sailed more than 53,875 nautical miles, spent 254 days at sea, operated with 102 ships from 20 other navies, and visited 17 different countries. Your ship’s CH-124 Sea King Helicopter flew more than 200 sorties totalling more than 500 flying hours.

I would also like to congratulate all MARPAC units for your unwavering support and dedication; HMCS Winnipeg’s success is your success. Your professionalism and expertise kept our ship safe, equipped, and informed, which ensured mission success.

To the families of the crew, please accept my sincere appreciation for the support you have provided our dedicated sailors, soldiers and aviators. Thank you for being their foundation and their inspiration. To the staff of the Military Family Resource Centre, Personnel Support Programs, and Formation Clergy, thank you for assisting the families of HMCS Winnipeg throughout the deployment.  Your contribution was essential to the ship’s success.

Bravo Zulu for a job extremely well done and most importantly, welcome home.

Rear-Admiral Gilles Couturier

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