In the coming days, HMCS Vancouver will depart from Esquimalt for Hawaii to take part in Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2024 before proceeding to Operation HORIZON in the Indo-Pacific. HMCS Vancouver will be joined on RIMPAC 24 by HMCS Max Bernays, Motor Vessel Asterix and a shore-based contingent of approximately 300 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members.

Canadian participation in RIMPAC focuses on honing CAF military expertise in the Indo-Pacific region, while fostering multinational relationships and trust between partners and allies. In this year’s iteration of RIMPAC, there will be 29 nations participating, with approximately 40 surface ships, 3 submarines, 14 national land forces, over 150 aircraft and more than 25,000 personnel. Commodore Kristjan Monaghan RCN has been appointed to command the maritime component of the upcoming RIMPAC 2024, showcasing Canada’s significant contribution and commitment to international maritime cooperation and defense.

RIMPAC is the largest joint and combined maritime exercise in the world, allowing partners and allied navies to practice working and fighting together. This biennial exercise provides invaluable training and development opportunities for the RCN.

Once RIMPAC 24 is concluded, HMCS Vancouver will continue sailing west, across the Pacific Ocean to conduct Operation (Op) HORIZON, Canada’s forward-presence mission in the Indo-Pacific region. HMCS Vancouver is the second Canadian frigate deployed to the region in 2024, with HMCS Montreal currently deployed to the region, and HMCS Ottawa expected to follow in the fall.

This is the second year that the Royal Canadian Navy is deploying three warships to the region each year, building defense partnerships with regional allies and partners, and promoting peace, resilience, and security in the region. The boost to Canada’s naval presence in the region was announced in Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy, released in November 2022.

Since early May, the CAF has also deployed a CP-140 Aurora, long-range patrol aircraft to Japan under Operation NEON, Canada’s contribution toward the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) sanctions imposed against North Korea. HMCS Vancouver will also participate in Op NEON in the coming months, monitoring the implementation of UNSC sanctions against North Korea in collaboration with allies and partners.

At the Shangri-La Dialogue, Minister Blair emphasized that Canada is committed to maintaining a reliable naval presence in the region in support of a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific. Through Canada’s renewed vision for defense, Our North, Strong and Free, Canada is investing an additional $9.9 billion over 20 years to sustain naval vessels, which includes extending the life of the Halifax-class frigates that we routinely deploy to the Indo-Pacific.