HMCS Winnipeg celebrates 25 years of service


SLt Wilson Ho, HMCS Winnipeg ~

Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship Winnipeg (FFH 338) turned 25 years old June 23. The second warship to be named HMCS Winnipeg was delivered to the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) on October 11, 1994, in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She would spend the later part of that year conducting sea trials to be ready for operations.

In January 1995, Winnipeg left Halifax, bound for Esquimalt, British Columbia. On June 23, 1995, Winnipeg was officially commissioned in the RCN.

Winnipeg has been through a variety of exercises and operational deployments during her 25 years. In 2001, the ship deployed to the Arabian Gulf, enforcing United Nations sanctions against Iraq. The following year, the ship deployed again to the Arabian Gulf as part of the Canadian Naval Task Group on Operation Apollo, the Canadian contribution to the international efforts against terrorism.

Winnipeg deployed once more to the region in 2005 in support of Operation Altair. In 2009, they warship deployed as part of Standing North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Maritime Group 1 to conduct counter-piracy missions in the Indian Ocean.

In 2015, it was tasked with the unique opportunity to sail around the world. During the deployment, the ship supported Operations Reassurance, Caribbe, Active Endevour, and Artemis.

Winnipeg’s most recent deployment was to the Eastern Pacific region with HMCS Ottawa in 2017 for Operation Poseidon Cutlass, which would later on be renamed Operation Projection.

In addition to the numerous operations the ship has deployed on, it has also participated in numerous exercises with international maritime partners, including NATO task groups, and multiple Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercises off the coast of Hawaii.

Commander Mike Stefanson, Commanding Officer, wanted the 25th anniversary to commemorate not only the successes of the ship, but to recognize and thank the countless number of people who have contributed to its day-to-day operations.

The morale patch for the 25th anniversary includes the cityscape of the ship’s namesake city and the ship’s mascot. The motto One with the Strength of Many and the Support of Thousands was chosen because the successes of Winnipeg over the past 25 years have not only been because of the fine sailors that have sailed on board, but also because of the support networks made and lasting friendships that have helped along the way.

Winnipeg simply could not succeed if not for the timeless efforts of support units such as the Fleet Maintenance Facilities, Sea Training Group, and the Naval Fleet Schools.

Most importantly, Winnipeg would not have been able to achieve excellence at sea without the unwavering support of all of the friends and family members supporting the sailors on board. Winnipeg is continuing to prepare for her upcoming participation in the RIMPAC Exercise and Op Projection later on this year.


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