Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

July 16, 2007 11:49 ET

HMCS Toronto to Depart in Support of NATO Response Force

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 16, 2007) - Her Majesty's Canadian Ship (HMCS) Toronto is deploying on Operation SEXTANT, Canada's maritime contribution to the Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1) fleet in support of the NATO Response Force (NRF). The Halifax-class patrol frigate will depart Halifax on July 20, 2007, for a five-month deployment during which it will conduct operations in the Mediterranean and circumnavigate Africa.

Commanded by Commander Stephen Virgin and with a crew of some 235 officers and sailors, HMCS Toronto will participate in a series of naval exercises to maintain a high readiness capability should the fleet be tasked to engage in NATO directed operations. While in the Mediterranean region the ship will be periodically assigned in support of Operation Active Endeavour; monitoring shipping, and providing escorts to non-military vessels as may be necessary, and operating to help detect, deter and protect against terrorist activity. HMCS Toronto will also conduct visits to NATO and non-NATO aligned ports as a demonstration of Canada's commitment to international security through NATO.

The NATO Response Force is a highly ready and technologically advanced force made up of land, air, sea and Special Forces components that the Alliance can deploy quickly wherever needed to respond to a range of emergencies, including humanitarian disasters.

The last deployment of Canadian ships in support of SNMG1 was from January to December 2006 when Canada commanded SNMG1 and deployed HMCS Athabaskan and HMCS Iroquois on successive six-month missions.

NOTE TO NEWS/ASSIGNMENT EDITORS:

For more information on SNMG1, visit: http://www.manw.nato.int/pages/organisation/snmg1.htm

For more information on the NATO Response Force, visit: www.nato.int/issues/nrf/index.html

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