The Government of Canada has announced that Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Regina has arrived in the Arabian Sea and joined the multinational fleet conducting maritime security operations in the region. HMCS Regina has replaced HMCS Charlottetown, which had been in the region since April.
“HMCS Regina’s deployment continues our strong tradition of participation in overseas operations with our allies, while making meaningful contributions to international security and stability,” said Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence. “Each day, Canadians use goods and services that have been influenced by maritime trade. Canada’s contribution to maritime security and counter-terrorism operations plays a key role in the prosperity of our country.”
HMCS Regina left her home port of Esquimalt, British Columbia on July 3 and replaced HMCS Charlottetown on Operation Artemis, Canada’s contribution to Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150), the multinational flotilla conducting counter-terrorism operations in the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Aden, the Gulf of Oman, and the Indian Ocean. HMCS Charlottetown is currently heading home after a deployment of more than seven months.
Notably during her deployment, HMCS Charlottetown disrupted the exchange of illicit cargo between a dhow – a larger fishing-type vessel – and a smaller skiff in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Yemen on May 5, 2012. HMCS Charlottetown’s actions resulted in the seizure and disposal of 600 pounds of hashish.
“The captain and crew of HMCS Charlottetown have done an exceptional job,” said Lieutenant-General Stuart Beare, commander of Canadian Expeditionary Force Command. “Charlottetown’s presence in both the Mediterranean and Arabian seas has demonstrated Canada’s commitment to peace and security in the region.”
After about three months on Operation Active Endeavour, HMCS Charlottetown was re-tasked to the Arabian Sea region to join CTF-150, with which she has operated since April 22. Charlottetown is expected to reach Halifax later in September. Canada has contributed warships to CTF-150 since its inception. Most recently, HMCS Fredericton served with CTF-150 from October 2009 to April 2010. Of note, the task force was headed by a Canadian in 2008, when then-Commodore Bob Davidson, commanded CTF-150 for four months from HMCS Iroquois.
HMCS Regina is a Halifax-class frigate with a crew of 240 sailors, including an air detachment equipped with a CH-124 Sea King helicopter and a ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicle.