Warship heads to mock sea battle

More than 200 sailors from CFB Esquimalt will leave family behind Monday for the practice battle of a lifetime in Australian waters.

HMCS Ottawa will join U.S. forces for the biennial Exercise Talisman Saber, commanded this year by Australia’s navy. Upwards of 14,000 Canadian, U.S. and Australian military personnel will take part in the land, air and marine warfare exercise for three weeks in July.

Stops along the way will include Pearl Harbor, Samoa, a rendezvous with the U.S. Navy seventh fleet and Sydney, Aus., before the **Ottawa joins the U.S. Navy strike group for the exercise.

The Canadian warship will then meet up with the **USS George Washington carrier strike group for the return trip home, and for goodwill visits to Singapore, South Korea and Japan.

The frigate is scheduled to return to CFB Esquimalt in early September.

emccracken@vicnews.com