Canadian Navy ships return from West Africa deployment

Two Royal Canadian Navy Kingston-class coastal defence vessels, HMCS Summerside and Moncton, returned to Halifax on May 2, following a two-month deployment to West Africa.

The deployment was part of a mission called Neptune Trident 17-01 and saw the ships work with allies and partners to build relationships and strengthen maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea.

During their deployment, HMCS Summerside and Moncton, a detachment of personnel from the Royal Canadian Navy’s Maritime Tactical Operations Group (MTOG), and a cadre of liaison and support staff also participated in Obangame Express 17, a 12-day, U.S. Naval Forces Africa-led training event that included maritime security partners from more than 20 countries in West Africa. This was the first time Canada has sent a contingent to participate in this multinational maritime security event.

The Canadian warships, which operated with an integrated crew of regular force, reserve force, and MTOG personnel, also supported Global Affairs Canada objectives throughout the region with visits to Senegal, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Côte d’Ivoire.

HMCS Summerside and Moncton collaborated with a number of non-governmental organizations to encourage the participation of girls and women in non-traditional roles, to promote a lifelong commitment to literacy and education, and to bolster community efforts of environmental stewardship.

“I have learned time and again that the best of Canada can be represented in distant waters through the young sailors of the Royal Canadian Navy,” Rear Admiral John Newton, Commander Joint Task Force Atlantic and Commander Maritime Forces Atlantic, said. “I have received nothing but positive feedback on the assistance rendered by our personnel in Western Africa. Ashore and in the communities visited, our sailors were exceptional ambassadors of Canada, reinforcing what a navy does for its nation.”