HMCS Regina home stretch

HMCS Regina is expected home in mid-September.

HMCS Regina is expected home in mid-September.

After almost nine months at sea, and participation in two Canadian naval operations, the crew of HMCS Regina is now coming home.

The ship is expected home in mid-September.

The Halifax-class frigate left CFB Esquimalt last January for Operation Artemis, Canada’s participation in counter-terrorism operations in the Arabian Sea.

However, when tension began to increase in the Ukraine this past April, the Government of Canada responded to NATO’s request for enhanced reassurance to promote security and stability in Central and Eastern Europe, and Regina was given a short-notice re-tasking to the region.

“As a forward operating, high-readiness unit we have the flexibility and capability to go where we’re needed, when we’re needed,” says Cdr Daniel Charlebois, Commanding Officer of Regina. “We’d been tracking the situation in the Ukraine for quite some time, so when the call came to lend a hand we were more than ready to help.”

Joining up with a NATO task force in the Eastern Mediterranean, Regina took part in patrols and presence – building operations, tracking the movements and operations of Russian Federation Naval vessels in response to Russian aggression.

With a complex situation like that in the Ukraine, operations such as Reassurance are created to show the presence and strength of allied nations, dissuading the notions of open conflict. Cdr Charlebois says the crew was ready for a Cold War-esque scenario with Russian Federation vessels, but everyone kept their distance.

“We’ve seen Russian Federation vessels operating, but it has all been non-escalatory, professional, and benign,” says Cdr Charlebois. “We expected more interaction, but with the presence of so many NATO allies the situation became more about security and safety for the Mediterranean region.”

As a high-traffic maritime environment, the Mediterranean Sea is a complex region in which to operate. The professionalism of Canadian and NATO allies and their ability to work together to sustain good order at sea ensured operational success, says Cdr Charlebois.

“There are a lot of private vessels, commercial operations, and militaries operating in that region,” he says. “Knowing who’s who in the zoo requires us to coordinate our air units and those of our allies to build a clear picture of the environment. Over the past few months we’ve built that picture.”

Cdr Charlebois says the crew can see the light at the end of the tunnel as HMCS Toronto has taken over responsibility for Canada’s naval contribution to Operation Reassurance.

“This is a pretty switched-on crew. They’ve been on the ball every minute of this situation,” he says. “They know our goal and mission is to stand up and support the Ukraine in their right to safety.”

Shawn O’Hara, Staff Writer

Filed Under: Featured

About the Author:

RSSComments (1)

Leave a Reply | Trackback URL

  1. BPD says:

    The situation in the Ukraine has gotten significantly worse since the arrival of the Regina and the creation of the Op Reassurance Mission; it is hard to believe the presence of HMCS Regina was noticed at all by the government of Ukraine, or that the Canadian Government would have risked it vessels in a live fire naval battle with the Russian Federation

Leave a Reply

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.