Family and friends waved goodbye to the people aboard the HMCS Regina, which is going on a seven-month deployment to Asia-Pacific. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Three navy ships deploy from CFB Esquimalt Wednesday

HMCS Ottawa, HMCS Regina and the Asterix are all venturing to different parts of the world

Tissues and blankets were handed out Wednesday morning at CFB Esquimalt as families and friends wished their loved ones bon voyage.

HMCS Ottawa departed for Hawaii, while HMCS Regina departed for a seven-month deployment to the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions, accompanied by a replenishing ship filled with fuel and supplies, the Asterix. During the deployment, the ships will partake in two operations.

Operation PROJECTION will work with partner navies in support of Canada’s diplomatic efforts in the Asia-Pacific region.

ALSO READ: CFB Esquimalt nurse selected for national Remembrance Day program

“This part of the world is a contested area, so Canada operates under international law in those areas in the world,” said Rear Admiral Bob Auchterlonie, noting the ships will travel near southern China, Singapore and the Indian Ocean.

ALSO READ: B.C. man (pick up truck, Lucky Beer poster, and all) revels in return to Esquimalt

In March, the ships will transition to Operation ARTEMIS, which will support the Canadian-led combined Task Force 150 in the international waters of the Middle East. This mission works primarily to stop terrorist organizations from smuggling weapons, illicit cargo and narcotics, while protecting merchant ships.

These operations are also part of a historic moment for the Pacific navy and the maritime helicopter squadron task force.

“This is the first west coast deployment of a Cyclone helicopter on operations,” said Col. Sid Connor. “With this first deployment, we’re introducing new capabilities to the west coast navy. It allows the ship’s captain and the ship’s crew to be able to use the helicopter to see out further than they could in the past.”

ALSO READ: Victoria Royals run drills at CFB Esquimalt

Despite the new goals and abilities, some things remain the same.

“It’s a happy time and a sad time for families,” said Auchterlonie. “I was fortunate in that I deployed on the Regina 22 years ago almost to the day. My wife reminded me today so it was good to be here.”

The ships were sent off with bugles, drums and outstretched arms waving goodbye.

“It’s our first deployment, so it’s kind of mixed emotions,” said Sarah Shams, whose husband is on board HMCS Regina. “They have to do what they have to do to work and support our families, support our country, so we have to support them by showing up here even though it’s sad … and keep going at home.”

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


Send a Tweet: @NicoleCrescenzi

Like us on Facebook  

Just Posted

Over 200 lives saved in first year at Victoria’s supervised consumption site

The Harbour celebrates its first anniversary with a report of zero deaths on site

Celebrate 50 years of David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’ and the Apollo 11 moonlanding

‘Ground control to Major Tom’ the countdown is on the 50th anniversary of the moon landing

Views, brews and food on Gulf Islands craft beer cruise

Five day cruise from Sidney to Gulf Islands, includes chef and beer historian

Researchers head out from Sidney to explore Canada’s largest underwater volcano

The Explorer Seamount is as large as Greater Vancouver and full of previously undiscovered species

VIDEO: Dashcam video captures moment Victoria cyclist struck

Police seeking cyclist captured in video

UPDATE: Youth seen with gun at Nanaimo mall, suspect now in custody

Woodgrove Centre shut down during police incident

B.C. man dies from rabies after contact with Vancouver Island bat

Last known case of human rabies in B.C. was 16 years ago

Crown recommends up to two-year jail term for former Bountiful leader

Crown says sentence range should be 18 months to two years for Bountiful child removal case

VIDEO: Wolf spotted swimming ashore on northern Vancouver Island

Island wolf population estimated at under 150 in 2008, says VI-Wilds

Diversity a Canadian strength, Trudeau says of Trump tweets at congresswomen

Trudeau avoided using Trump’s name when he was asked about the president’s Twitter comments

B.C. couple bring son home from Nigeria after long adoption delay

Kim and Clark Moran of Abbotsford spent almost a year waiting to finalize adoption of Ayo, 3

Garneau ‘disappointed’ in airlines’ move against new passenger bill of rights

New rules codified compensation for lost luggage, overbooked flights

Canadian is detained in China on drug allegations: Chinese government

Detention of a Canadian in China comes as part a diplomatic dispute triggered by arrest of Huawei exec Meng Wanzhou

Most Read