By Ryan Melanson
A new year brought a new mission for the ship’s company of Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Halifax as it left its home port of Halifax on New Year’s Day to join Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1) as part of a six-month deployment to Operation REASSURANCE.
The departure marks the 15th consecutive deployment in support of the NATO assurance and deterrence mission in European waters, with Royal Canadian Navy ships maintaining a consistent presence since 2014.
Halifax will be operating with its NATO allies in Western and Northern European waters, set to conduct an intense program of operational patrols and training exercises, maintaining NATO’s presence in key regions while also building on its ability to work in concert with the multinational vessels that make up the SNMG1 task group.
“This is our commitment to our NATO partners: that we will continue to work with them, learn how to better work together, and assure them that Canada will be a committed partner now and into the future,” said Commander (Cdr) Chris Rochon, Halifax’s Commanding Officer, while speaking to media prior to departing.
He was accompanied by Commodore (Cmdre) Bradley Peats, who will be joining the ship in Europe as Canada assumes command of SNMG1 for the duration of the deployment. Cmdre Peats will take over as Commander SNMG1, while Halifax will serve as the task group flagship, replacing the Portuguese Navy ship Corte-Real.
It’s an exciting time for HMCS…