Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Canadian navy resumes operations off the Horn of Africa
As part of Canada's ongoing maritime security commitments to assist forces patrolling the seas off the Horn of Africa (HoA), the frigate HMCS Fredericton is now on station in the Gulf of Aden. The warship arrived in the region a few days ago, following port calls in Israel and Malta, and will be integrated into NATO's Standing Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1) on counter-piracy operations, as well as contributing to the multinational Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150), which is focussed on with dealing with counter-terrorism operations in the region.
The arrival of the Fredericton in the Gulf comes almost three months to the day since Canada's last naval contribution to safeguarding the seas off the HoA - HMCS Winnipeg - returned to her home base in Esquimalt (on Vancouver Island) after a seven-month deployment overseas that took that warship's crew into the seas off East Africa and kept them busy dealing with pirates.
Of course based on the information in my previous post, the Winnie's crew may have been focused more on catching fish than actually protecting mariners in the area, and possibly passed on some tips to the Freddie's crew. (That, by the way, is called sarcasm, for the more serious-minded of my readers: In all my years of sailing aboard vessels - both seagoing or freshwater - the only time I have ever seen a crewman toss a line overboard in search of some fish was a couple of times while in port, when loading or discharging was taking some time. Rare indeed is the mariner working on a vessel at sea who has either the time or the inclination to toss a lure overboard as a ship steams. Trolling at 20 knots just doesn't work.)
Regardless, best wishes to the crew of the Fredericton. You can send a note to them by clicking on this link.
Addendum: HMCS Fredericton is deployed on what the Canadian Forces call Operation Saiph. Saiph is the traditional name for a star in the constellation of Orion (the Hunter). It is also an Arabic word for sword, or hilt.