After twelve months operating with Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Toronto has begun her journey home, having been the backbone of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 operations throughout her tour.
HMCS Toronto successfully intercepted and destroyed nine narcotics shipments, totalling approximately 8.5 metric tonnes, steamed approximately 80,000 nautical miles and conducted over 60 boardings. Her CH-124 Sea King helicopter logged more than 700 flying hours, and the unmanned aerial vehicle detachment logged more than 1,200 operational hours.
Commander Matthew Bowen, Commanding Officer of HMCS Toronto, said: “Toronto’s time with CMF and CTF 150 was tremendously rewarding. Their strong leadership in promoting safe use of the maritime commons continues to contribute enormously to stability in the Arabian Sea, and it was a pleasure to work alongside such professionals. Their support and expertise enabled many of Toronto’s successes over the course of the past year, and ensured that the hard work and dedication of Toronto’s crew produced very positive results in destroying illicit narcotics and denying the associated funds to terrorist organizations.”
Commodore Daryl Bates, CTF 150 Commander took the opportunity during HMCS Toronto’s recent visit to the Seychelles, her last port while with CMF, to say farewell to the crew. After thanking them for their dedicated service, Commodore Bates told the assembled crew: “We know for a fact that your efforts have had a direct impact on those who seek to use the maritime environment for illicit purposes. I am confident that your replacement, HMCS Regina can live up to the enviable reputation you have forged.”
HMCS Regina is en route to the region to relieve HMCS Toronto and resume Canada’s commitment to CTF 150 in mid-February.
Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, Commander, Royal Canadian Navy said: “The men and women of HMCS Regina are highly-trained professionals who will carry on the fine tradition of Canadian Armed Forces personnel serving with Combined Task Force 150. I wish them fair winds and following seas, as they take over the watch from HMCS Toronto who has patrolled the Arabian Sea region for nearly a year.”
CTF 150 is one of three task forces within CMF, a multinational naval partnership of 30 nations, based in Bahrain. Its role is to promote security, stability and prosperity across approximately 2.5 million square miles, including the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman.
The principle mission of CTF 150 is to deter, disrupt and defeat attempts by international terrorist organisations that use the maritime environment as a venue for attack or as a means to transport personnel, weapons or other materials.