HMCS Toronto Makes History in the Black Sea
HMCS Toronto made history as the first Halifaxclass frigate to voyage into the Black Sea when she sailed through the Turkish Straits on 6 September 2014. It had been more than twenty years since a Canadian warship had visited the Black Sea and she is the first of her class of ship.
HMCS Toronto deployed in the Black Sea from 6 to 25 September to take part in joint NATO training exercises and maritime situational awareness operations as part of Operation REASSURANCE.
The ship entered the fabled body of water as the command ship for Task Unit 02 (TU.02) of Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2), where the Commanding Officer, Commander (Cdr) Jason Armstrong, led a unit comprised of HMCS Toronto, the Spanish frigate SPS Almirante Juan de Borbón, and the Romanian frigate Regele Ferdinand.
HMCS Toronto participated in Exercise SEA BREEZE 14 from 8 to10 September. Upon successfully completing the exercise, Toronto spent the remaining two weeks conducting exercises with Bulgarian, Romanian and Turkish allies in consort with Almirante Juan de Borbón. The training exercises were a testament to the validity of collective training, providing countless learning opportunities to each participating nation.
HMCS Toronto also conducted two diplomatic port visits, one in Constanta, Romania and one in Varna, Bulgaria. These engagements allowed regional allies to interact with Canadian sailors and their ship, and demonstrated the Government of Canada’s commitment to NATO allies and the region.