Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Regina arrived home at Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt, B.C., September 17, after an eight-month deployment in support of Operations Artemis and Reassurance.
On hand for her arrival were the Honourable Rob Nicholson, Minister of National Defence, Commodore Bob Auchterlonie, Commander Canadian Fleet Pacific, and many friends and families, all eager to welcome home the crew.
As the ship arrived alongside, 40 members of the HMCS Regina Family Network surprised the crew with a flashmob to the song “Best Day of My Life” by the American Authors. The group had been practising the routine for months as they prepared for the homecoming of their loved ones.
HMCS Regina departed Esquimalt on January 6, 2014, for the Arabian Sea region in support of Operation Artemis, and was re-tasked on April 30, 2014, to Operation Reassurance, joining Standing NATO Maritime Forces in the Mediterranean Sea. The deployment was part of Canada’s contribution to peace and security in Eastern and Central Europe in response to the Putin regime’s military aggression and invasion of Ukraine.
“HMCS Regina’s deployments on Operation Artemis and Operation Reassurance demonstrate Canada’s steadfast commitment to international peace and security no matter the task at hand,” said Minister Nicholson. “This is particularly important as we continue to work closely with our NATO allies and partners in order to reinforce our collective defence in the wake of Russia’s reckless actions. Regina’s ability to seamlessly transition from one mission to another is a testament to the capability and professionalism of the Royal Canadian Navy and our Canadian Armed Forces.”
During her deployment, HMCS Regina travelled more than 61,000 nautical miles and conducted 10 boardings. One of these boardings included the interception of a dhow, a traditional sailing vessel, off the east coast of Africa on March 31, 2014. The boarding party discovered 132 packages of heroin weighing approximately 132 kilograms in total on the dhow. The illicit narcotics were subsequently seized, documented and later destroyed at sea, thereby ensuring that they would not reach their intended recipients.
HMCS Regina’s embarked CH-124 Sea King helicopter logged approximately 445 flying hours, and the unmanned aerial vehicle detachment logged more than 600 operational hours.
The ship also conducted 20 port visits throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia to enhance diplomatic and defence relations with strategic partners, demonstrating that Canada is actively involved in setting the conditions for international security and stability.
“Regina’s accomplishments during this past deployment affirm the continuous state of high operational readiness of the Royal Canadian Navy,” said Rear-Admiral Bill Truelove, Commander Maritime Forces Pacific. “Adaptability, expertise and professionalism are characteristics that the Royal Canadian Navy is well known for at home and abroad, and the crew of HMCS Regina have far exceeded these qualities.”
HMCS Regina was relieved from Operation Reassurance by HMCS Toronto, a frigate based out of Canadian Fleet Atlantic in Halifax, N.S., on August 5.
Press Release, September 22, 2014; Image: Canadian Navy