BC-based navy vessels to take part in RIMPAC exercise off Hawaii

BC navy ships set sail

B.C.-based navy ships HMCS Regina and HMCS Winnipeg are in local waters for a few days prior to heading south to join an international marine exercise led by the U.S.

HMCS Regina pulled out of Esquimalt Harbour on Friday, followed by HMCS Winnipeg on Sunday, to take part in the Pacific Rim exercise, also known as RIMPAC. The vessels will be heading to waters off Hawaii for the Aug. 17 to 31 exercise, which is staged every two years.

The Canadian warships are scheduled to sail south on Thursday. In the meantime, they are carrying out tasks such as collecting ammunition from the local ammunition depot, taking on fuel, checking helicopters, and undergoing last-minute checks, said Janice Lee, spokeswoman for the Royal Canadian Navy Maritime Forces Pacific Formation.

This is Canada’s first RIMPAC exercise using its new Cyclone helicopter.

The two frigates are carrying about 450 sailors and aviators. Lee said all crew members underwent quarantine and tested negative for COVID-19 prior to departure.

The exercise will include anti-submarine warfare, maritime intercept operations and live-fire training events.

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