Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Fredericton returned home in Halifax on July 5, following a six-month deployment to the Mediterranean and Black Seas on Operation Reassurance.
The ship departed Halifax on January 5, 2016, and began Operation Reassuranceduties on January 8, 2016. It served with Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2), which engaged in maritime situational awareness operations to detect, deter and disrupt terrorism in the Mediterranean Sea.
“Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship Fredericton has completed an outstanding NATO-led maritime reassurance mission far from home and to the highest traditions of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN),” said Commodore Craig Baines, Commander Canadian Fleet Atlantic.
HMCS Fredericton deployed as the Maritime Component of Operation Reassurance, the Canadian Armed Forces contribution to support NATO assurance measures in Central and Eastern Europe.
Standing NATO Maritime Groups are multinational, integrated maritime forces made up of vessels from various allied countries. SNMG2 units worked with Greek, Turkish and other authorities to monitor the migrant crisis in the Aegean Sea and report on smuggling activities.
In total, HMCS Fredericton was deployed for a period of six months, spending 125 days at sea and travelling 20,770 nautical miles (38,500 kilometres). It led SNMG 2 Task Unit 02 in the Black Sea in April, conducting exercises with Bulgarian, Romanian and Turkish navies to enhance maritime cooperation.
HMCS Fredericton conducted 400 hails of vessel traffic in the Mediterranean as part of Operation Reassurance, more than any previous Canadian ship deployed on this mission. Its CH-124 Sea King helicopter logged over 427 flying hours while flying 162 sorties.
The ship also employed the RCN’s Enhanced Naval Boarding Party in an operational theatre. The team spent approximately one-and-a-half months on board the ship and conducted exercises with other navies.
During the deployment, HMCS Fredericton and its crew operated with 12 NATO navies and conducted 14 visits to foreign ports in 10 different countries, including eight NATO nations, reaching out to like-minded nations and partners to promote security, stability and prosperity. The following countries were visited: Spain, Italy, Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, France, Morocco, Portugal and Ireland.
HMCS Fredericton’s deployment is the third time a modernized Halifax-class frigate has deployed overseas in support of Operation Reassurance.