The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) is on a goodwill visit to the Philippines to demonstrate the friendly relations between the two countries.
The Canadian Embassy in Manila on Tuesday said Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Winnipeg arrived on Monday and would be docked at the Port of Manila October 11-13.
The Winnipeg last visited the country in 2017.
Aside from reaffirming the two nations’ ties, the Embassy said this visit also reflects Canada’s commitment to its “vibrant partnership” with the Indo-Pacific and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
“As a maritime nation, the Philippines has always been a very good host to our fleet and I know this visit will further strengthen a relationship that bridges the Pacific Ocean,” Canada’s Ambassador to the Philippines Peter MacArthur said during the arrival ceremonies.
“Operations conducted by the HMCS Winnipeg together with our allies and partners in the region, demonstrate Canada’s ongoing commitment to supporting a free and open Indo-Pacific,” he added.
HMCS Winnipeg is deployed to the Indo-Pacific region from August to December 2021 to conduct forward naval presence operations in the region, as well as cooperative deployments and participate in international naval exercises with allied and partner nations.
“The deployment of HMCS Winnipeg in the Indo-Pacific region is aimed at working with partner nations to enhance military cooperation. As a Pacific nation, Canada’s deployment of Winnipeg to this region is part of our contribution to making the world more secure and stable,” MacArthur said.
Commander Doug Layton, commanding officer of the HMCS Winnipeg, also made a virtual courtesy call on the Philippines’ Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Caesar Bernard Valencia, to discuss issues of mutual interest.
“HMCS Winnipeg is delivering robust capabilities working with our partner navies to strengthen international partnerships and stability in the Indo-Pacific region,” he said.
In line with Canada’s defense policy “Strong, Secure, Engaged,” Layton said Ottawa’s naval forces work both independently and in support of allied or partner missions.
The HMCS Winnipeg has 262 highly trained and professional sailors, including 11 of Filipino descent.
It’s one of the RCN’s 12 Halifax-class frigates, which carry extensive anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare weapons and sensors to complement their substantial anti-air warfare defenses.
The combination of these weapon and sensor systems, coupled with state-of-the-art damage control and machinery control systems, make these frigates one of the most advanced warship designs in the world.
HMCS Winnipeg is deployed with an embarked helicopter air detachment operating a CH-148 Cyclone helicopter.
During its deployment, Winnipeg will also support Operation NEON, Canada’s contribution to the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions 2375 and 2397 on North Korea.
It will make seven port visits in four different countries including Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, and the United States. These port visits will support Canada’s diplomatic efforts in the region, the Embassy said.