Three Kingston-class Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels (MCDVs) are at sea February 5 to 18 for Exercise PACIFIC GUARDIAN, a joint coastal defence exercise. Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships (HMCS) Nanaimo, Brandon and Saskatoon will take part in the exercise off the west coast of Vancouver Island and in the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
During the annual Exercise PACIFIC GUARDIAN, participating members will be put to the test, exposed to a variety of scenarios relating to the protection of Canadian domestic interests. These scenarios may include drug or immigrant smuggling, pollution detection, marine mammal sightings, shellfish poaching, illegal logging or criminal activities.
“Exercise PACIFIC GUARDIAN brings together various units in Joint Task Force Pacific to provide a cohesive and coordinated team capable of defending Canadian maritime interests,” said Captain Navy Luc Cassivi, Maritime Forces Pacific Operations Officer. “Coordinating and working alongside various federal departments and our U.S. allies is instrumental to ensuring our coastal defence. The highly manoeuvrable Kingston-class is well suited for maritime security patrols in coastal areas”.
Also participating in Exercise PACIFIC GUARDIAN are members of 19 Wing Canadian Forces Base Comox and several naval reserve units who will work in concert with crews of the MCDVs. Additionally, there will be a U.S. Coast Guard vessel USS Wahoo and a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter. The headquarters of the exercise will be at HMCS Discovery in Vancouver.
The Kingston-class are multi-role ships that can be fitted with inter-changeable modules allowing a wide variety of missions including coastal operations and exercises, as well as specialty work such as seabed mapping and mine countermeasures.