HMCS Regina returns home

Photo by Peter Mallett, Lookout Newspaper

Photo by Peter Mallett, Lookout Newspaper

Peter Mallett, Staff Writer ~

The crew of HMCS Regina returned to Esquimalt after a six-and-a-half month deployment in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions.

A large gathering of family, friends and military personnel waved, cheered and flashed homemade signs, flags, banners and balloons as Regina came alongside C2 Jetty in Dockyard on Aug. 19 after 193 days at sea.

It was busy deployment for the Halifax-class frigate and its crew.

Regina departed Esquimalt on Feb. 6 where it worked with other navies to enhance military cooperation and partnerships in the Asia-Pacific as part of Operation Projection. It then sailed to the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean and participated in Operation Artemis in support of a combined naval task force of 33 partner nations to deter terrorist organizations from using the high seas for smuggling.

Regina also participated in Operation Neon, Canada’s contribution to supporting United Nations Security Council sanctions against North Korea.

“I am so impressed with the crew of HMCS Regina who represented the Royal Canadian Navy’s spectrum of tasks across the globe throughout this deployment,” said Commander Jacob French, ship’s commanding officer. “It’s a proud day for me seeing my crew reunited with their families after all they’ve accomplished.”

The deployments also marked the first embarked CH-148 Cyclone detachment from 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron, which Cdr French described as “an absolute bonus” and effective at conducting surveillance and searching out vessels of interest. The Cyclone was introduced on the Pacific coast at the start of 2019 as a replacement for the CH-124 Sea King.

A Naval Boarding Party from the Naval Tactical Operations Group also embarked Regina for Artemis, assisting in four separate drug busts during the deployment.

Regina also made several port visits during its time away including stops in Guam, Hawaii, Japan, United Arab Emirates, Seychelles, Singapore, Oman and Australia. It also participated in Exercise Talisman Sabre, a biennial Australian and United States bilateral exercise designed to train partner military forces in planning and conducting Combined Task Force operations and to improve combat readiness and interoperability.

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