Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

June 06, 2009 08:00 ET

HMCS Winnipeg: NATO Mission Accomplished

HMCS WINNIPEG, INDIAN OCEAN--(Marketwire - June 6, 2009) - The Canadian frigate HMCS Winnipeg officially detached from Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 today, ending a very successful nine-week counter-piracy mission that began in early April.

"The efforts of the sailors and air crew aboard HMCS Winnipeg permitted the Government of Canada to contribute to the NATO coalition's naval response to a global issue," said the Honourable Peter Gordon MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway. "Their achievements helped bring a measure of security to the strategically important, yet troubled, waters of the Gulf of Aden."

With a mandate to defend against, deter and disrupt piracy, Winnipeg and her crew thwarted several pirate attacks, and helped to disarm numerous groups of pirates in just over two months of operations.

"I am tremendously impressed by the spirit and professionalism demonstrated by the men and women of HMCS Winnipeg," said General Walt Natynczyk, the Chief of the Defence Staff. "All Canadians can take great pride in what their sailors and air force personnel have accomplished on this mission."

HMCS Winnipeg is scheduled to return to her home port of Esquimalt, B.C., in late August.

Notes to editors:

For mission details, visit the Canadian Expeditionary Force Command website at

For imagery of HMCS Winnipeg, visit and search using "WINR4" as a keyword.

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