Canadian warship Regina, which berthed at the port here for a few hours on Tuesday, will join the multi-nation flotilla under the Combined Task Force-150 (CTF-150) on Wednesday to carry out maritime security operations, counter-terrorism campaign in particular, over the seas connecting the Far East to Europe and the United States.
“HMCS [Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship] Regina started her mission on Monday. Tomorrow, she will be moving into the CTF-150 operational area [which spans over two million square miles] covering the Red Sea right up to the Suez Canal, Gulf of Aden, Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Oman,” Commander Jason Boyd, Commanding Officer of HMCS Regina, told The Hindu aboard the frigate during an interaction.
HMCS Regina is slated to relieve HMCS Charlottetown on Operation Artemis, the Canadian component of CTF-150, which operates under the 26-nation Combined Maritime Force headquartered in Bahrain.
The first Canadian warship to dock at Kochi since 2005, HMCS Regina has a crew of 250 including an air detachment.
It left the port of Esquimalt in British Columbia on July 3 and would be on operational deployment in the region, especially around the Gulf of Oman, till January next.
On return, it would dock at Mumbai for professional exchanges with the Indian Navy, Commander Boyd said.
The ship hosted aboard a delegation of Indian Navy personnel on Tuesday morning. Later, Commander Boyd accompanied by Colonel Stephen LaPlante, Defence Advisor at the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi, called on India’s Southern Naval Command’s Chief of Staff Rear Admiral Sudarshan Shrikhande and Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST) Rear Admiral G. Ashok Kumar. They also visited a few training establishments under SNC.
“There is a lot of similarity in our training, courtesy of the Royal Navy background, and the technologies available in the schools are great,” Commander Boyd, on his first visit to India, said. To a specific question, he said Canada was part of CTF-150 since its inception, in the aftermath of 9/11.
Originally an anti-submarine warfare (ASW) ship, HCMS Regina is now a multi-role platform. En route to Kochi, the ship called at Pearl Harbor; Guam, a US territory in the Western Pacific; and Singapore.