NATO delegates visit CFB Esquimalt

NATO delegates visit CFB Esquimalt

LS Zachariah Stopa, MARPAC Imaging Services
Capt(N) Bradley Peats explains the role of Orca class vessels to delegates of the NATO Assembly, during their visit to CFB Esquimalt on May 2.

Forty-five delegates from the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, which provides an essential link between NATO and the parliaments of NATO nations, visited CFB Esquimalt on Friday, May 2 to discuss security developments in the Asia-Pacific region and their significance for Canada.

The delegation was led by President Hugh Bailey from the United Kingdom and Sub-Committee Chair Neemo Knip from the Netherlands. It was hosted by Cheryl Gallant, Conservative MP for Renfrew–Nipissing–Pembroke, Chair of the Canadian NATO Parliamen-tary Association.

The delegations’ visit to CFB Esquimalt began with presentations and discussions. Dr. Jim Boutilier, Special Advisor for International Engagement, led a discussion on the growing importance of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, and the impact of strong navies in Japan, China and India on international foreign policy. 

“The delegation members were suitably struck by the brittle maritime environment in East Asia waters,” Dr. Boutilier noted. “One of the challenges currently facing NATO is how to enhance ties and develop a stronger presence in Asia.”
Since its creation in 1955, the NATO Parliamentary Assembly provides a specialized forum for members of parliament from across the Atlantic Alliance to discuss and influence decisions on Alliance security. The Assembly facilitates parliamentary awareness and understanding of the key issues affecting the security of the Euro-Atlantic area, and supports national parliamentary oversight over defence and security.

As stated by our Prime Minister, Canada’s economy floats on salt water, hence the growing importance of the maritime security of this region.

Following the morning’s discussions, the delegates boarded two Orca Patrol Craft Training (PCT) vessels, and the vessels’ capabilities were showcased during a tour of Esquimalt Harbour. RAdm Bill Truelove, Commander Maritime Forces Pacific and Joint Task Force Pacific, hosted a group of delegates on PCT Raven, while another group was led by Base Commander Capt(N) Luc Cassivi in PCT Renard.  The Orcas, utilised by the RCN for training, are known for their speed and manoeuverability.

At the end of their day, members of the delegation claimed that their visit to CFB Esquimalt was the highlight of their trip to North America.


MARPAC Public Affairs

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