Royal Canadian Navy’s Victoria-class submarine HMCS Chicoutimi returned to her homeport in Esquimalt March 21 after a 197-day deployment in the Asia-Pacific region.
Her deployment was a historic one in that it marked the first time in nearly 50 years that a Canadian submarine operated in the region.
HMCS Chicoutimi worked with partner navies such as the United States Navy, the Japan Maritime Self Defence Force, the Royal Australian Navy and the French Navy during her time in Asia Pacific. As part of her deployment, HMCS Chicoutimi visited Yokosuka, Japan, further strengthening the relationship between our two countries.
“I am incredibly proud of the work done by the submariners on board HMCS Chicoutimi. Their consistent dedication and professionalism is an inspiration,” said Vice-Admiral Ron Lloyd, Commander Royal Canadian Navy. “The advantage that submarines can bring to a battle space cannot be underestimated. They are stealthy, lethal, and persistent. They are an important strategic asset that the Canadian Armed Forces brings to the table when working with our partners and allies around the world.”
HMCS Chicoutimi’s deployment is the longest Victoria-class deployment to date. Prior to this the longest Victoria-class single deployment was a 101-day North Atlantic patrol by HMCS Windsor in 2015. HMCS Windsor is once again deployed, currently supporting NATO operations in the Mediterranean Sea.
One of the highlights of Chicoutimi’s deployment is participation in the annual USN-JMSDF Annualex– a three week bi-lateral exercise which was made tri-lateral for the first time with the inclusion of Canada in 2017.
Chicoutimi visited Hawaii, Guam, and Japan during the deployment. The visit to Yokosuka, Japan was the first by a Canadian submarine since the visit by HMCS Grilse in May 1968.
The submarine and crew conducted two rest and maintenance periods, in Japan and the US territory of Guam, supported by deployed maintenance teams from the RCN Fleet Maintenance Facility based in Esquimalt. These periods further refined processes for deployed maintenance and support activities.
HMCS Chicoutimi is one of four Victoria-class submarines in the RCN. Chicoutimi along with HMCS Victoria and HMCS Corner Brook are based out of CFB Esquimalt, while HMCS Windsor is based at CFB Halifax in Nova Scotia.