Rear Admiral John Newton issued the following statement today regarding the port visit of French Ships the Mistral and La Fayette:
“It is my pleasure to welcome the French amphibious assault ship Mistral and frigate La Fayette to Halifax for a three day port visit, commencing today.
“For many years now, Canada and France have worked together to promote and protect shared interests and values in addition to serving side-by-side in international peace and security missions. Our forces coordinate and cooperate with ease and have developed close and effective relationships between staffs and operational forces.
“Canada’s defence cooperation with France on international missions is exemplified by our shared commitment to Afghanistan (as part of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force) and in Libya, in support of the NATO-led Operation Unified Protector. More recently, the Canadian Armed Forces provided key logistical support to French forces operating against rebels threatening to destabilize central Africa in Mali.
“Our naval forces have worked together in support of maritime security operations as part of the Combined Task Force 150, in the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and Indian Ocean. In the western Atlantic the Canadian submarine HMCS Windsor recently had excellent interactions with a French counterpart honing the skills of both crews.
“Partnership with the French Navy, or Marine nationale, extends to training as well, with Royal Canadian Navy officers and non-commissioned members serving in French ships and in certain shore establishments. Exchanges such as these permit our sailors to hone their skills in international settings, improve their language competencies, and gain a broader perspective on changing threats and evolving missions.
“I look forward to meeting with the senior officers and the crew of both visiting ships while alongside in Halifax, and wish them a restful and enjoyable visit to Canada.”
Press Release, June 17, 2014; Image: Canadian Navy