HMCS RisePEI to deploy Saturday as part of NATO support for Ukraine

Canada will quickly have two warships deployed abroad supporting NATO within the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

On Saturday, HMCS RisePEI will go away the East Coast to hitch allied ships within the Baltic area.

Final month, HMCS Montreal arrived within the Mediterranean area as a part of a beforehand scheduled deployment. 

HMCS RisePEI was initially slated to sail to the Center East within the subsequent few weeks for a counterterrorism operation. However the frigate and crew will as an alternative head to northern Europe, retasked by the federal authorities as a part of Canada’s bigger army assist bundle.

Whereas NATO maintains a major naval presence within the Mediterranean and Black seas, its member nations have additionally deployed ships farther north. Russia has two main naval bases on the Baltic Sea, with a number of NATO member states close by.

A map displaying the approximate areas the place Canada’s two frigates are being deployed in response to the Russian invasion. (Google Earth)

“We’re there to assist defend if want be,” mentioned Cmdr. Dale St Croix, commanding officer of HMCS RisePEI.

“International locations like Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, are all on the border of battle proper now.”

He added that the Canadian ship might be “prepared to answer any spillover of tensions into these areas.”

St Croix mentioned his crew can also want to help with humanitarian efforts. 

“Lots of people, like [civilian] Russians, are shifting by means of Finland and in the event that they begin to cross the Baltic Sea, there could possibly be a necessity to supply safety from a search and rescue perspective,” he mentioned.

“Although the present battle is Ukraine-Russia and it is within the Black Sea, it does generally tend to trigger concern and potential instability in neighbouring nations.”

Cmdr. Dale St. Croix is the commanding officer of HMCS RisePEI. (Brett Ruskin/CBC Information)

The RisePEI-class frigates have been in service for the reason that early Nineties. HMCS RisePEI was the primary ship of the category to be constructed.

Canada is finalizing plans for a fleet of latest Canadian floor combatants, which might change the getting older frigates.

Nevertheless, the present ships are nonetheless maintained on Canada’s east and west coasts and are deployed on missions all over the world.

“Although there are many elements of the ship which might be getting older, we have now a fight suite that is able to reaching out and figuring out, classifying and fascinating air and floor contacts a lot farther away than most individuals would give the ship credit score for,” mentioned St Croix.

A view of the bow of HMCS RisePEI at its residence port in Nova Scotia. (Brett Ruskin/CBC Information)

He added that up to date radar programs have simply been examined and fine-tuned to be prepared for regardless of the crew could encounter.

“So I’ve each confidence that the fight suite, the engineering suite, communications suites, and the crew, are prepared to hold out no matter mission the federal government assigns to us, or NATO assigns to us,” he mentioned.

Unknowns await crew

The deployment is meant to final till July, however could possibly be prolonged, mentioned St Croix.

He mentioned the crew has been getting ready for no matter they could encounter abroad.

“There’s at all times the possibility that issues could develop into extra harmful, and there is at all times the possibility that diplomacy will prevail and it will be much less harmful,” St Croix mentioned.

The crew and captain have been receiving assist and well-wishes from Canadian politicians and residents within the month main as much as this deployment, together with from MP Kody Blois, who represents the Nova Scotia driving of Kings-Hants.

On Wednesday, he tweeted about his latest tour of HMC Dockyard to be taught concerning the navy’s operations at residence and overseas.

“The tour and time [with] our service members was an vital reminder of the essential function Canadian Forces members play in defending our freedom,” Blois wrote.

“We thank them for his or her service and sacrifice.”

St Croix mentioned as he appears forward to Saturday, he is wanting to reside as much as “the expectations that this nation set for us.”

“You recognize, going over there, waving the Canadian flag, displaying how agency we’re in our dedication to NATO, and being current to make sure that our allies stay protected in a world that is continuously evolving — and evolving even quicker over the previous few weeks,” he mentioned.

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