Royal Canadian Navy coastal defense vessels HMCS Summerside and HMCS Kingston got underway from Halifax on January 26, starting a deployment to West Africa.
The two Kingston-class ships will foster relationships with partner navies and take part in exercise Obangame Express 2018, in the Gulf of Guinea, led by US Naval Forces Africa.
The exercise will be joined by a detachment of personnel from the Maritime Tactical Operations Group (MTOG) and a Maritime Operations Center mentorship team.
Also onboard as the ships got underway were exchange officers from Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire who joined the ships as part of an exchange program.
During their deployment, Summerside and Kingston are scheduled to visit Praia in Cape Verde, Dakar in Senegal, Liberia’s Monrovia port and Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
“Building on last year’s very successful deployment to West Africa, the RCN will again deploy to this important part of the world to continue to promote regional maritime security,” Rear Admiral Craig Baines, Commander Joint Task Force Atlantic and Commander Maritime Forces Atlantic, commented. “In additional, they will conduct national outreach and will support Canadian national interests while working with global partners to mutually build capacity and readiness.”