Canada’s Pacific Coast in capable hands, despite absence of naval fleet

Warships could be redeployed to respond to emergencies

HMCS Vancouver

With hundreds of West Coast military personnel, seven ships and a submarine away at sea, CFB Esquimalt may seem like a ghost town.

Two warships, three maritime coastal defence vessels and submarine HMCS Victoria are sailing in Hawaiian waters as part of a multi-national Rim of the Pacific exercise until Aug. 3.

Warship HMCS Regina left for the Arabian Sea on Tuesday. HMCS Vancouver will sail with her until they reach Hawaii.

Two frigates remain at the base, though there are other smaller naval vessels training in local waters. HMCS Calgary just left the shop and HMCS Winnipeg is about to undergo a mid-life refit.

Having the bulk of the West Coast fleet sailing at the same time is, in fact, an ideal situation, in the eyes of navy leaders.

“What we want is to have as many ships at sea doing (the) training and operations that are ultimately what we are all about,” said navy Capt. Luc Cassivi, chief of operations for Maritime Forces Pacific. “This is good news that we are getting as much as we can out of our ships.”

Ships sailing abroad or at home can be quickly reassigned to respond to an emergency situation, though there is typically advance intelligence that allows the navy to prepare, Cassivi said.

In the event of a domestic emergency, several provincial and federal government agencies would respond before the navy is called in.

“They tap on us as a force of last resort if they don’t have capacity, or if the situation is beyond what they are capable of managing,” he said.

The navy is always ready to support other agencies, which doesn’t limit it from carrying on with regular activities, such as training exercises and missions abroad.

“… We need to train our sailors and we need to get our ships ready and our crew used to managing life at sea and operations, so that when we do get a tasking for international (or), national operations we (will) have as ready a crew that we can to deal with those situations,” Cassivi said.

emccracken@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Light wind sends half of Swiftsure yacht fleet back to shore early

Many racers return overnight in unusual race conditions

Leaving dog in hot car can result in $75,000 fine, prohibition from owning animals, prison

B.C. SPCA received 800 calls last year about dogs left in hot cars

Radio Host Erin Davis pens Mourning Has Broken following death of her daughter

Book by North Saanich woman gives advice to others struggling with grief

Bed Races on Beacon champs ready to defend their title

Race takes place July 7 on Beacon Avenue, raising funds for the Peninsula Youth Clinic

Saanich preschool celebrates 30 years with reunion event

Thousands invited RSVP for Carrot Seed Preschool 30-year celebration

WATCH: Thousands enjoy sunshine at second annual Village Block Party

Cook Street filled with local food, music and more

Social media giants in hot seat as politicians consider regulations in Ottawa

Committee members will also grill representatives from Facebook, Twitter

Wildfire crews watching for dangerous wind shift in High Level, Alta.

The Chuckegg Creek fire is raging out of control about three kilometres southwest of the town

UN urges Canada to take more vulnerable Mexican migrants from Central America

The request comes as the United States takes a harder line on its Mexican border

Mistrial declared in Jamie Bacon murder plot trial

Bacon was on trial for counselling to commit the murder of Person X

B.C. VIEWS: Money-laundering melodrama made for TV

Public inquiry staged to point fingers before 2021 election

Canadian homebuyers escaping high housing costs by moving to secondary cities

In British Columbia, exurbs have grown in the Hope Valley and Kamloops

Feds lay out proposed new rules for voice, video recorders in locomotives

Transport Canada wants to limit use of recorders to if a crew’s actions led to a crash

Most Read