The Royal Canadian Navy’s (RCN) frigate HMCS Winnipeg has officially joined Standing Nato maritime forces, replacing HMCS Fredericton that returned home recently.
The vessel joined Nato forces as part of Operation Reassurance, which is Canada’s effort to promote security and stability in Central and Eastern Europe.
Canadian Joint Operations Command commander lieutenant-general Stephen Bowes said: "Globally deployed HMC Ships like Winnipeg provide the Government of Canada with diverse and robust capabilities in response to developing and ongoing crises in the region and around the world.
"I am confident that HMCS Winnipeg’s Op Reassurance deployment will build upon the achievements of HMCS Fredericton, which consistently provided outstanding support to Nato-led assurance measures in Central and Eastern Europe throughout the last six months."
The vessel joined with SNMG2 that currently engaged in Nato counter-terrorism patrols and related activities in the Mediterranean Sea.
HMCS Winnipeg is the first HMC ship to deploy an enhanced naval boarding party (ENBP), a RAN maritime interdiction capability, on an operational mission.
The ENBP will support HMC ships with better agility, flexibility and tactical expertise to deter a range of threats in high-risk operational environments.
Prior to this, the vessel participated in Operation Caribbe, which is Canada’s participation in the multinational campaign against illicit trafficking by transnational organised crime in the Caribbean Sea and the eastern Pacific Ocean.
Recently, The RCN modernised HMCS Winnipeg as part of the $4.3bn Halifax-class modernisation / frigate life extension (HCM/FELEX) programme.
Image: A member of the Enhanced Naval Boarding Party climbs aboard Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship WINNIPEG from a rigid hull inflatable boat. Phtoto: courtesy of Department of National Defence / Crown copyright.