Civilians and CFB Esquimalt personnel salute as HMCS Calgary and Vancouver depart from the base.

Sailors depart from CFB Esquimalt for international exercise

HMCS Calgary and HMCS Vancouver departed Esquimalt Harbour Monday to participate in the world's largest international maritime exercise.

  • Thu Jun 16th, 2016 11:00am
  • News

Carrying nearly 500 sailors, HMCS Calgary and HMCS Vancouver departed Esquimalt Harbour on Monday to participate in the world’s largest international maritime exercise.

From June 30 to Aug. 4, Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) — taking place in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California — will allow the navy’s warships to test weapon systems and upgrades to their equipment.

Crews will also get to fire evolved sea sparrow and harpoon missiles, as well as heavyweight torpedoes to increase the war fighting capabilities of the Halifax-class warships.

“Participation in RIMPAC allows the Royal Canadian Navy to work together with our partner nations while providing unique training opportunities for our sailors to maintain and enhance operational readiness,” said Commodore Jeff Zwick, commander Canadian Fleet Pacific.

“These opportunities allow our sailors to continue to develop and deepen partnerships with countries from the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.”

Joining the Halifax-class warships will be Kingston-class warships HMCS Saskatoon and Yellowknife, along with nearly 80 sailors. The warships will conduct coastal operations with other navies and diving units.

The Royal Canadian Navy has both domestic and international roles and needs naval forces with the ability to act internationally, whenever and wherever issues arise that threaten national interests. The Pacific Fleet is home to 11 warships and two submarines.