Cana­dian vessels set to join RIMPAC ex­er­cise

Times Colonist - - Island / B.c. -

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 Rim of the Pa­cific ex­er­cise, also known as RIMPAC 2020. The vessels will be go­ing to the 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 an­ti­sub­ma­rine war­fare, mar­itime in­ter­cept op­er­a­tions and live-fire train­ing events.

HMCS Regina and HMCS Win­nipeg will be vis­i­ble Thurs­day af­ter­noon as they depart, sail­ing past the Greater Victoria shore­line. Each ship’s he­li­copter will be air­borne dur­ing the sail past.

Start­ing near Dis­cov­ery Is­land at about 4:15 p.m., the ships will travel west past the following ob­ser­va­tion points: • Trafal­gar Park — 4:40 p.m. • Clover Point Park — 4:45 p.m. • Bea­con Hill Park — 4:50 p.m. • Hol­land Point Park — 4:55 p.m. • Og­den Point break­wa­ter — 5 p.m. • MaCauley Point Park — 5:05 p.m. • Saxe Point Park — 5:10 p.m. • Esquimalt La­goon — 5:15 p.m.

DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

The HMCS Regina de­parts from CFB Esquimalt on the ini­tial de­ploy­ment of Cana­dian mil­i­tary per­son­nel par­tic­i­pat­ing in RIMPAC 2020.

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