Royal Canadian Navy

Royal Canadian Navy

February 19, 2012 13:30 ET

HMCS Vancouver Returns Home From Operations

ESQUIMALT, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 19, 2012) - Today, Mark Strahl, Member of Parliament for Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon, Wai Young, Member of Parliament for Vancouver South, and General Walt Natynczyk, the Chief of the Defence Staff, were joined by a broad range of community members to welcome home Her Majesty's Canadian Ship (HMCS) Vancouver as she and her crew returned to Esquimalt following seven months of active NATO operations.

"HMCS Vancouver's work in the Mediterranean played an essential role in enforcing the United Nations imposed arms embargo in Libya's territorial waters during the turmoil that engulfed that nation, and played a key part in enforcing NATO's counter-terrorism operations in the region," said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence. "I could not be more proud of the ship's crew for their accomplishments on this deployment, and I am very pleased that they will now have a well-deserved opportunity to reunite with their families."

"It is a true honour to pay tribute to the men and women who regularly put themselves in harm's way on our behalf, and to witness the reunion of so many sailors with their loved ones," said Strahl.

"The incredible outpouring of goodwill from the community today is a testament to the great esteem that British Columbians and all Canadians have for our men and women in uniform, and a reflection of their appreciation for all that they do in Canada's name," said Young.

"The captain and crew of HMCS Vancouver have done a tremendous job. They deserve our heartfelt appreciation for the important contribution they made to bring peace and security to the people of Libya, and while patrolling alongside our NATO allies in the Mediterranean," said General Walt Natynczyk, Chief of the Defence Staff. "I am thankful for their professionalism, for their service, and for the sacrifices their families made to support them. The men and women of HMCS Vancouver have brought great credit to Canada and to the Canadian Forces."

HMCS Vancouver first departed Esquimalt on July 10, 2011, and replaced HMCS Charlottetown as the maritime component in Operation Mobile, the Canadian contribution to the NATO-led international response to the crisis in Libya. As part of the NATO effort to enforce the arms embargo and the no-fly zone, the ship helped ensure that no arms or ammunition were proceeding to Libya and that humanitarian aid was getting in safely to those who needed it. Working with other NATO ships and aircraft, Vancouver provided a measure of reassurance to the civilian population and a deterrent to Gaddafi forces. During her tour of duty in the Mediterranean, the ship was primarily employed in maritime surveillance, a task that involves hailing and investigating vessels that could be suspected of terrorist activity.

On November 15, 2011, after the successful conclusion of the UN-sanctioned NATO-led mission to protect the people of Libya, Vancouver was assigned to a new mission, Operation Metric. This mission is Canada's contribution to Operation Active Endeavour, NATO's maritime counter-terrorism effort in the Mediterranean Sea.

Notes to editor / news director: For further information please contact Navy Public Affairs at 250-363-5789.

For more information on Operations Mobile and Metric visit:

http://www.cefcom-comfec.forces.gc.ca/pa-ap/ops/mobile/index-eng.asp and
http://www.cefcom.forces.gc.ca/pa-ap/ops/metric/index-eng.asp

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