By Annie-Claude Venne
HMCS Calgary left Esquimalt July 30, 2018 for Operation Projection. The Calgary is sailing in the Asia-Pacific region to participate in international naval exercises with partner nations.
Calgary has already completed training exercises with ships from Australia and New Zealand and has visited Guam.
In the coming weeks, Calgary will participate in a regional exercise run by the Australians in Darwin. Then, it will conduct visits to Vietnam, Republic of Korea and Japan to promote cooperation with partners. The final stop of its deployment will be in Hawaii. Following the crew’s hard work, the Calgary will sail home to Canada in mid-December
Operation Projection is a display of Canada’s ongoing commitment to working well with partners. While sailing the Asia-Pacific region, Calgary is contributing to making the world more secure and stable. It shows that the Royal Canadian Navy is ready to support Canada’s interests around the world.
“We are looking forward to demonstrating our effectiveness at sea. Mission success is achieved with all hands on deck,” explained Commander Blair Saltel, Commanding Officer HMCS Calgary. “We’re thankful for the support of our families. They watch the home front while we work to enhance stability and security in the Asia-Pacific region on behalf of all Canadians.”
The aim of the deployment is to work with partners to improve military cooperation. Activities during this edition of Operation PROJECTION are helping to hone skills and improve partnerships.
“I get to see a part of the world and work with navies from nations that I have neither been to nor worked with before,” said Ordinary Seaman Kathryn Struthers, naval communicator HMCS Calgary. “As a naval communicator, I’ve enjoyed hearing the different accents over the radio from sailors doing the same job as me but on a different navy’s ship. The biggest highlight of my trip so far has been to shoot one of our 50 caliber heavy machine guns at a hammerhead target.”
While sailing on Operation Projection, Calgary will make a total of eight port visits in five different countries including Australia, Japan, Korea, the United States and Vietnam. These port visits will support Canada’s diplomatic efforts in the region.
“This is my first sail,” said Able Seaman Brandon Paquet, Cook HMCS Calgary. “While we are at sea, I am busy in the galley cooking for the crew. It has been very enjoyable. Our first port visit in Guam was a great time, especially after completing work ups. I am looking forward to seeing Vietnam and the rest of the great ports we plan to visit.”