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

Greater Victoria teacher’s certification suspended for inappropriate conduct with female students

Gregory Garos was employed by the District as a middle school teacher

West Saanich Road to get $1.5 million bike lanes extension

Allterra Construction awarded contract after their bid undercut rivals by $500,000

Saanich councillor questions effectiveness of free transit passes for youth

Coun. Judy Brownoff said efforts should focus on improving service levels

Victoria’s historic Point Ellice House re-opens after months of closure

A new exhibit will be on display at the house to explore the ‘Politics of Luxury’

International, Disney and Hallmark films set to be filmed in Victoria in 2019

Local and international production companies seeking out film locations in town

Rents in most Canadian cities are unaffordable for lower-income earners: study

Roughly one-third of households, or 4.7 million, are renters

POLL: Do you carry reusable shopping bags?

While a court ruling determined the City of Victoria’s plastic bag ban… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of July 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

B.C. government seeks advice on reviving Interior forest industry

Public website opens as meetings start with community leaders

Film features Chez Monique, an off-the-grid restaurant on West Coast Trail in B.C.

“The story we are trying to share is of the loving haven they created and sustained for decades.”

Psychics, drones being used to search for missing Chilliwack woman with dementia

Drones, psychics, dogs and more have been employed to help find Grace Baranyk, 86

Scheer on Trump: It’s ‘offensive’ to question the family background of critics

Trump is being called a racist for saying that the four congresswomen should go back where they came from

Instagram expands Canadian pilot removing ‘like’ counts to more countries

Social media giant plans to roll out the test in Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Japan, Italy and Ireland

Man involved in beating and tasering over a drug debt to be sentenced in Nanaimo

Colin Damen Gary Lamontagne pleaded guilty to charges, including aggravated assault

Most Read