HMCS St. John’s to head to Mediterranean Sea to participate in NATO operation

HALIFAX — A Canadian naval frigate left Halifax Tuesday to continue Canada’s commitment to Operation Reassurance, a NATO standing force meant to deter Russian activity in central and eastern Europe.

It’s the eighth rotation for the navy, which began its commitment in 2014 — and the second deployment within a year for HMCS St. John’s and its 240-member crew.

The ship will replace HMCS Charlottetown serving with Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 in the Mediterranean Sea.

“This mission is very important from a deterrence aspect, it’s very important from a training aspect,” Rear-Admiral Craig Baines told a gathering of family members at the ship’s departure ceremony.

“It’s very important that all of our (NATO) nations be able to operate together, if and when required in the future.”

HMCS Charlottetown, which is expected to return to Canada within the next few weeks, took part in a NATO training exercise in the Mediterranean last September and October. Dubbed “Brilliant Mariner,” the exercise assessed the crisis response of the 11 countries that took part.

Weeks earlier, the ship was in the Baltic Sea, where it took part in coastal defence and anti-submarine warfare exercises.

“This has made a huge difference, in that it shows that Canada stands with their NATO partners,” Baines told reporters.

“It allows us to do very important training and to work on our tactics and procedures. It makes sure we are present in very important parts of the world.”

Baines said warships like HMCS St. John’s are at their “absolute highest level of readiness” when they are deployed on operations like the NATO mission, because of ongoing training.

“That training program is quite lengthy and hard,” he said, adding that it’s been a busy few months for the crew of St. John’s.

Just Posted

WATCH: Red Deer walkers raise awareness for homeless at Coldest Night of the Year

This is the third year The Mustard Seed is holding the event in the city

Be aware: city snowplowing underway

Owners of vehicles parked on road should watch out for signs or check with city to avoid tickets

Parkland Fuel Corporation moving Red Deer office

Company plans to consolidate Red Deer office with Calgary, affecting 120 jobs

RDSO, Orontes Quartet to perform free Sunday concert during Canada Winter Games

The show from 6:30 p.m. is in heated tent off Celebration Plaza

Alan Doyle, Ashley MacIsaac perform free Canada Winter Games concert tonight in downtown Red Deer

Celtic show starts at 6:30 p.m. in large heated tent off Celebration Plaza

Fashion Fridays: Must-have wardrobe basics

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Court rejects B.C.’s request to declare Alberta oil export law unconstitutional

CALGARY — A judge has dismissed the British Columbia government’s request to… Continue reading

A ‘warm embrace’ for grieving parents at funeral of seven young fire victims

HALIFAX — Thousands of mourners filled a cavernous hall on Saturday for… Continue reading

New immigration projects offer caregivers pathway to permanent residence

OTTAWA — The Trudeau government is launching two new immigration pilot programs… Continue reading

Montreal man found guilty of manslaughter in death of ailing wife

MONTREAL — A jury has found a Montreal man guilty of manslaughter… Continue reading

Homan beats McCarville in 3-4 Page Playoff at Scotties Tournament of Hearts

SYDNEY, N.S. — Ontario’s Rachel Homan defeated Northern Ontario’s Krista McCarville 6-4… Continue reading

Iowa play-by-play man suspended for “King Kong” comment

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Iowa play-by-play announcer Gary Dolphin has been suspended… Continue reading

Smile: Some airliners have cameras on seat-back screens

Now there is one more place where cameras could start watching you… Continue reading

R. Kelly due in Chicago court to face sex abuse charges

CHICAGO — R. Kelly, the R&B star who has been trailed for… Continue reading

Most Read