HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwire - Sept. 11, 2012) - The Minister of National Defence, the Honourable Peter MacKay, and the Associate Minister of National Defence and Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency) (La Francophonie), the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, joined families, friends and the Maritime Atlantic Fleet in welcoming home Her Majesty's Canadian Ship (HMCS) Charlottetown, and its officers and crew, today, as it returned to Halifax, N.S., following a deployment that has lasted almost nine months.
"HMCS Charlottetown deployment is a demonstration of our government's commitment to working towards a more secure and stable world. Our contribution to maritime security and counter- terrorism operations plays a key role in the prosperity of our country," said Minister MacKay. "Our Government is incredibly proud of the officers and crew of HMCS Charlottetown and thank the families and friends of all those returning today for sacrifices alongside their loved ones."
Initially, HMCS Charlottetown was deployed under Operation Metric, Canada's participation in international efforts to enhance security in the eastern Mediterranean Sea as part of the NATO-led Operation Active Endeavour (OAE). OAE aimed to prevent the movement of terrorists and weapons of mass destruction and enhance the security of shipping in general. At the end of April 2012, the ship transited through the Suez Canal and joined Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150).
"Canadians from all across the country join us today to thank and congratulate the crew of the HMCS Charlottetown," said Minister Valcourt. "Their sacrifices, courage and determination are at the core of our Government's commitment to make the investments to providing our Canadian Forces with the equipment they need to conduct their dangerous missions at home and abroad."
Operation Artemis is the Canadian Forces' participation in maritime security and counter-terrorism operations in the Arabian Sea region with CTF-150. HMCS Regina, replaced HMCS Charlottetown, to continue Canada's commitment to Operation Artemis.
"It is an amazing day. I am so proud of my ship's company," says Commander Wade Carter, the Commanding Officer of HMCS Charlottetown. "They have worked so hard for so long. And now, finally, to see them reunite with loved ones, is beyond words. I cannot describe how overjoyed I am for them… for me, when you include last fall, it needs to be understood that this crew has effectively been deployed for 10 of the last 12 months. An amazing effort. An effort that could not have been accomplished without the support of strong Navy families. I salute them all. It has been an absolute privilege to be their Captain."
Deployments such as these show allies and partners that Canada is committed to international security and cooperation and that we are willing and able to contribute to multinational peace initiatives. Participating in a NATO operation like OAE shows Canada's resolve to the alliance, the cornerstone of trans-Atlantic security and defence. Joining a coalition naval task force that includes several like-minded nations, CTF-150, demonstrates Canada's continued commitment to fight international terrorism.
Note to editors / news director:
For more information about HMCS Charlottetown's arrival home, please contact the Maritime Forces Atlantic Public Affairs Office at 902-427-3766 or at MarlantPublicAffairs@forces.gc.ca.
For more information on Operation Artemis, please visit the CEFCOM website: http://www.comfec-cefcom.forces.gc.ca/pa-ap/ops/artemis/index-eng.asp.
For more information on CTF-150, please visit the CTF-150 website: http://combinedmaritimeforces.com/ctf-150-maritime-security/.
For imagery of HMCS Regina and HMCS Charlottetown while deployed on Operation Artemis, please visit the Operation Artemis image gallery on the Canadian Forces Combat Camera website: http://www.combatcamera.forces.gc.ca/site/01/OPARTEMIS/index-eng.asp.
For further information on HMCS Charlottetown's return home, please see the following fact sheet: http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/news-nouvelles/news-nouvelles-eng.asp?id=4364
For further information on HMCS Charlottetown's missions overview, please see the following backgrounder: http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/news-nouvelles/news-nouvelles-eng.asp?id=4365