QUEBEC, Feb. 6, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ - Following a planned maintenance period in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada's only Naval Support Ship today departs for a year-long tour which will see Federal Fleet Services' Asterix take part in a series of international exercises and security operations throughout the Pacific Ocean, Asia, Middle East and East Africa.
Asterix is accompanied by HMCS Regina, a Canadian Patrol Frigate also built at Davie Shipbuilding, and is now en-route to the Indian Ocean where the two ships will take part in Operation Projection, Canada's ongoing commitment to the region with its international security partners.
This deployment marks the first embarked CH-148 Cyclone detachment from 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron.
HMCS Regina's Commanding Officer, Commander Jake French told the Lookout Newspaper of the critical capability that Asterix provides, "We'll be fortunate enough to be working with NRU Asterix so we can maintain a forward presence in the region, get through the long legs required in the Indo Asia Pacific for stores and fuel, increased medical facilities, and an expanded inventory of spare parts."
Alex Vicefield, CEO of the Inocea Group, which owns both Davie Shipbuilding and Federal Fleet Services said, "It provides a great sense of pride for all Quebecers to see two Davie-built ships working together to make the world a safer place. This deployment is both a showcase for the skills and expertise of Canada's largest and most experienced naval shipbuilder as well as Federal Fleet Services who have exceeded all expectations and worked flat-out to support the navy. With Canada's only naval support ship now deploying for another year-long tour, there are no support ships to service the rest of the fleet, specifically those operating within and defending Canada's three coastlines. This would be an uncomfortable position for any navy to be in so we hope the government delivers on the recommendations from the House of Commons and the Senate to proceed, without delay, to build a second ship – the Obelix."
Spencer Fraser, CEO of Federal Fleet Services added, "In 2018, Asterix and its expert crew of Federal Fleet Services staff excelled on its Asia-Pacific tour, at an operational tempo higher than any other ship in Canada's naval fleet. We now look forward to venturing out further during 2019 into the Middle East and East Africa alongside the Royal Canadian Navy and our international security partners. Later this month I look forward to sharing details of Asterix's cutting-edge, cost-effective and fast-track design with world navies who are looking to procure naval support ships at the Naval Support Ships Conference in London, UK"
NOTE TO EDITORS:
Davie Shipbuilding is Canada's largest, highest capacity, longest established and most experienced shipbuilder. Davie delivers mission-critical ships as well as ship-sections to global navies and domestic and international corporations.
About Federal Fleet Services
Federal Fleet Services supports military, government and humanitarian operations through the construction, ownership, servicing and management of complex, mission-critical naval platforms. Federal Fleet Services owns and operates m/v Asterix – Canada's only naval support ship.
House of Commons recommendation
House of Commons, The Readiness of Canada's Naval Forces, June 2017
"That the Government of Canada keep the Resolve class interim auxiliary oil replenishment (AOR) ship operational in order to help close the Royal Canadian Navy's at-sea replenishment capability gap until a third Joint Support Ship is delivered, and that if there are significant delays, that a second Resolve class interim AOR ship be contracted."
Note: At the time of writing, the first Joint Support Ship was due to be in operation by 2021. Today, the first Joint Support Ship is not expected to be operational until 2025, at the earliest.
Senate of Canada recommendation
Senate of Canada, Reinvesting in the Canadian Armed Forces: A Plan for the Future
"In order for the Royal Canadian Navy to simultaneously meet a high readiness state as part of NORAD and NATO, and to effectively defend Canada, it is recommended that the Government of Canada commit to a balanced naval capability with an effective presence in all three of Canada's oceans and that it: Procure a second Resolve-Class Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment (AOR) ship by 2018 to address an urgent capability gap on each coast."
SOURCE Davie Shipbuilding
For further information: Frederik Boisvert, Vice President, Public Affairs, Chantier Davie, Cell phone: +1-418-455-2759. firstname.lastname@example.org