Royal Canadian Navy ships depart for Great Lakes deployment

Two Royal Canadian Navy Kingston-class coastal defense vessels HMCS Kingston and Goose Bay departed Halifax, June 20 for a two-week tour of Canadian port cities along the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Great Lakes.

According to the Navy, HMCS Montréal is scheduled to join in the second half of this year’s Great Lakes Deployment in September 2016.

Throughout the deployment, Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) ships will conduct training in order to enhance crew readiness, which is necessary in responding to the likely tasks that the government of Canada may assign.

The Navy said the purpose of this Great Lakes deployment was to connect with Canadians who are not regularly exposed to the RCN. Through activities such as guided ship tours and demonstrations, the deployment aims to better inform Canadians about their Navy and its various roles.

Additionally, the 2016 Great Lakes deployment marks the first time that the RCN has been invited to participate in the Redpath Waterfront Festival taking place in Toronto from June 30-July 3.

“The Great Lakes Deployment is a real showcase for the skills and training of our sailors. It also gives thousands of Canadians who live far from our coastlines, and who have probably never even seen a Canadian warship, the opportunity to get inside one of these impressive vessels, and to learn about how the men and women of their Navy work every day to ensure their security at sea,” Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy Vice-Admiral Mark Norman said.

Crewed by both regular and reserve force sailors, HMCS Kingston and Goose Bay are Kingston-class maritime coastal defense vessels – multi-role minor war vessels with a primary mission of coastal surveillance and patrol, including general naval operations and exercises, search and rescue, law enforcement, resource protection and fisheries patrols.

HMCS Montréal is a Halifax-class frigate – the backbone of the Canadian naval fleet which recently completed an extensive modernization program.