Navy begins transition to the future fleet

hmcs protecteur sails

HMCS Protecteur is one of four Royal Canadian Navy ships being retired.

As the Royal Canadian Navy undergoes its most extensive peacetime modernization in history, Vice Admiral Mark Norman, Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), announced on Friday the upcoming retirement of four ships that have reached the end of their operational lives.

The ships are HMC Ships Protecteur and Preserver, two Protecteur-class auxiliary oil replenishment (AOR) ships; and HMC Ships Iroquois and Algonquin, two Iroquois-class guided missile destroyers (DDG). The retirement of these vessels has been anticipated for some time, and is a step towards the introduction of new ships and capabilities set to be delivered through the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS), as well as recognition of the RCN’s commitment to the responsible use of public funds while maintaining Canada’s naval readiness.

From the Admiral:

The summer has passed quickly and I hope that you each had an opportunity to take some vacation. It has been a busy summer across the Formation as we have continued to deliver on our core missions including ships to sea, SAR, Cadets as well as being prepared to respond as necessary within our JTFP construct.

At the same time, the navy has continued its implementation of the executive plan as we prepare, with energy and excitement, to receive the future fleet of modernized frigates, Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships, Joint Support Ships and, in due course, the Canadian Surface Combatant.

Yesterday [Sept. 18], I was thrilled to hear the announcement of the name of the first AOPS – HMCS Harry DeWolf. Today [Sept 19], we took another important step in that journey with the Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy’s announcement of the plan to decommission HMC Ships Protecteur, Algonquin, Preserver and Iroquois. Each of these ships has served us well for decades and collectively have now reached the end of their operational lives. I am immensely proud of these ships and all who have served in them.

With the announcement, we can now move forward with the complex work of preparing the ships for decommissioning and eventual disposal. There remains much to be done to ensure that these activities are completed in a deliberate, safe, environmentally appropriate and cost effective manner. At the same time, we will be continuing our ongoing efforts to ensure that the crews of these ships receive the training and at sea experience necessary for them to advance, as appropriate, through their careers.

As always, significant announcements like this one will lead to rumours and speculation. I encourage you to address any questions/concerns you may have through your chain of command/management team.

Ladies and Gentlemen – our navy is proud of its 104-year history of operational excellence at home and around the world. As I look ahead to our next 100 years, I am confident that we will continue our proud tradition of operational excellence enabled by the important steps in our transition to the future fleet we are taking now.

Thank you to you and your families for your ongoing service to our great nation. I am incredibly proud and honoured to be your Formation Commander and shipmate.

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