HMCS Vancouver Battle Cats Broadcast

His Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) VANCOUVER sails behind (left to right) HMCS OTTAWA and Motor Vessel ASTERIX in the Indo-Pacific on 24 August 2023.
Photo credit: Corporal Alisa Strelley, Canadian Armed Forces Photo.

Capt Véronique Sabourin
HMCS Vancouver PAO

With mixed emotions, His Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Vancouver’s ship’s company departed Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt. It sailed past the Victoria waterfront on Aug. 14, bidding farewell to families and friends as we embarked on another exciting adventure in the Indo-Pacific region.

Following our departure from Esquimalt, we embarked on our CH-148 Cyclone helicopter, call sign Canuck, which provides us with extended depth and range during our operations before joining our friends in HMCS Ottawa and Naval Replenishment Unit Motor Vessel (MV) Asterix. During our transit across the Pacific Ocean, weather conditions were relatively nice, with ocean waves averaging one to two meters.

A few days after our departure, a Royal Canadian Air Force CP-140 Aurora patrol aircraft from 19 Wing, 407 Squadron conducted a flyby of HMCS Vancouver on Aug. 16. Our ship was transiting by the CP-140’s patrol route; as such, the aircrew elected to reach out and requested the fly-past in the interest of joint interoperability and morale. Both crews established good communications and quickly arranged the fly-past before returning to their respective operations. The CP-140 flight that day supported Operation Limpid, providing presence and surveillance in the approaches to Canadian waters. Both HMCS Vancouver and CP-140 personnel enjoyed this interaction of opportunity.

HMCS Vancouver continued its journey as we operated alongside the Atlantic Condor in the North Pacific Ocean, supporting Canada’s increased presence in the Pacific region. Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) conducts Operation North Pacific Guard, a multilateral operation with personnel from DFO, the Canadian Coast Guard and the U.S. Coast Guard to detect and deter illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing activity, which is a significant cause of declining fish stocks and marine ecosystem destruction in Canada and around the globe.

During our first two weeks at sea, we conducted several training serials, keeping us fighting for the mission at hand, including Replenishment-at-Sea (RAS) with MV Asterix. We have been routinely exercising our skills in responding to emergencies, from person overboard drills to flood and fire responses, ensuring we remain adaptable and capable of responding to whatever situation may arise. We also celebrated Vancouver’s commissioning anniversary on Aug. 22, as we crossed the international date line and completely missed the 23rd, jumping right to the 24th. Don’t worry, though, we still had cake!

As we approached Japan, Vancouver, Ottawa, and Asterix conducted manoeuvres with Japanese Ship (JS) Hyūga and USS Benfold, collaborating with regional partners to foster an open and free Indo-Pacific. As part of our deployment in the Indo-Pacific region, we will continue to conduct forward naval presence operations and participate in international naval exercises with partner nations.

During our port visit to Yokosuka, Japan, our command team attended strategic engagement events with diplomats and partner nations. At the same time, crew members had some well-earned time off to discover Yokosuka, Tokyo and Mount Fuji. We are now back at sea supporting Operation Neon, Canada’s contribution to United Nations Security Council sanctions against North Korea. During the next few weeks, we will conduct surveillance operations to identify suspected maritime sanctions evasion activities, particularly ship-to-ship fuel transfers and other commodities banned by United Nations Security Council resolutions.

We wish you all the best back home in Canada and look forward to sharing more about Vancouver’s journey in the coming weeks and months.

Ever on Guard,

The Battle Cats

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