Publication date: 05 February 2013
Since departing her home port of Esquimalt, British Columbia on 3 July, 2012, HMCS Regina and her crew of about 250 personnel has charted new ground while employed on a very distinct mission. Operation ARTEMIS is the Canadian Forces’ current participation in maritime security and counter-terrorism operations in the Arabian Sea. This operation clearly demonstrates our solidarity with partners and allies as we continue to work together for peace and security in the maritime environment of the greater Middle East region.
As the crew begins their long journey back home after more than seven months at sea, sailing over 50,000 nautical miles in total, we can take the time to look back on the deployment and what they accomplished.
After HMCS Regina’s long transit to the operational area by way of the Pacific Ocean, she joined the multinational Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150) in the Arabian Sea on 19 August 2012.
Working with several partner nations, the crew helped to promote security, stability and prosperity across some six million square kilometers of international waters, covering the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Oman and the Indian Ocean – an area that contains some of the world’s most important shipping lanes.
As Commander Canadian Joint Operations Command, I wish to congratulate Commander Jason Boyd, Chief Petty Officer 1st Class Derek Kitching and the entire crew aboard HMCS Regina for their outstanding work.
Since the first day of your deployment, I have felt extreme confidence in your abilities to accomplish the mission. You integrated seamlessly into the command structure of a multinational naval task force and your flexibility and determination made your contribution invaluable to Canada, the international community, and the people who rely on safe seas in this region every day.
During your tour of duty, you employed all assets available to you to get the job done. Notably, a UAV troop, consisting of four gunners and UAV service providers, worked with the air force personnel of the Sea King helicopter to provide aerial surveillance. It’s not often we seen the green uniforms of the army on a ship! But together, they demonstrated the interoperability of our modern Canadian Forces as members of the Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Air Force and Royal Canadian Navy collaborated to ensure mission success.
Other daily operations like your flag-verification approaches and boardings made the region safer. Your transits of important shipping lanes sent a clear message that the international community is watching over the area, and the numerous port visits you conducted cemented relations with our regional allies.
I would also like to bring attention to two highlights of HMCS Regina’stour of duty. On 18 October 2012, while operating in the Gulf of Aden, your team, with the assistance of one of your allies – the Republic Singapore Ship INTREPID – responded to a Yemeni dhow in distress. The dhow had run out of fuel and the crew was without food or water. HMCS Regina was able to provide food, water and sufficient fuel for the dhow to reach port safely. These types of goodwill operations show local mariners that we are present in the area and able to provide assistance. More importantly, it demonstrated the crew’s commitment to helping others.
Nearly two months later, in the early morning of 11 January 2013, HMCS Regina demonstrated exactly why Canada has contributed a ship to conduct counter-terrorism operations in this area of the world: the crew disrupted a suspected drug transfer off the coast of Yemen. Although the culprits fled the area, they dropped most of their cargo, ensuring that it did not enter the hands of those willing to conduct illicit activities. These events demonstrate that our presence is working.
Overall, the cohesion, skill, and professionalism of the HMCS Regina team reflects the outstanding work we do every day together, wherever we serve as members of the Canadian Forces. You have done our nation proud.
Thank you to all your families. They are waiting anxiously for your return to Esquimalt in a few days. Their love and support is what gets us through these long deployments. Enjoy your future reunion and time together.
Bravo Zulu and have a safe voyage home.
LGen S.A. Beare, Comd CJOC
This story comes from Operation ARTEMIS
Arabian Sea; 9 August 2012 - HMCS Regina refuels from USNS Washington Chambers. (Image number HS2-2012-032-005 by Cpl Rick Ayer)
Arabian Sea; 15 November 2012 — MCpl Paul Lacroix secures a SH-60 Seahawk helicopter from the USS John C. Stennis to the flight deck of HMCS Regina. (Image number HS2-2012-174-007 by Cpl Rick Ayer)
Arabian Sea; 13 November 2012 — Boatswain OS Mathieu Gigault of HMCS Regina operates the ship’s rigid-hulled inflatable boat. (Image number HS2-2012-170-010 by Cpl Rick Ayer)
HMCS Regina, in the Arabian Sea; 11 September 2012 — Members of the Naval Boarding Party from Her Majesty's Canadian Ship (HMCS) Regina, deployed in their Ridged Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB), approach a fishing dhow. (Photo by: Corporal Rick Ayer, Formation Imaging Services, Halifax, Nova Scotia)
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