Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Canada to lead Pacific Rim maritime exercise

Canada’s Minister of National Defence, Bill Blair, has concluded a visit to Singapore where he led a delegation to the Shangri-La Dialogue from May 31 to June 2.

During his visit, Minister Blair (pictured) announced the deployment of three Royal Canadian Navy vessels to Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC), where Canadian sailors will operate alongside Indo-Pacific allies and partners.

This year, the maritime component of the exercise will be led by a Canadian commodore – “demonstrating Canada’s commitment to leadership as we engage with Indo-Pacific partners,” said the Minister.

Following RIMPAC, HMCS Vancouver will continue on to a deployment in the Indo-Pacific through Operation HORIZON, Canada’s revamped Indo-Pacific military mission. Under Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy, the nation is now deploying three frigates per year to the region for the second year in a row. 

The Minister also announced that Canada has joined the Multilateral Initiative for Defence Industrial Base Resilience in the Indo-Pacific, launched at the Shangri-La Dialogue by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III.

“This important initiative will ensure that Canada and its partners in the Indo-Pacific can develop a resilient defence industrial base ready with the necessary technological footings to face potential challenges in the region,” he said.

Minister Blair also met with New Zealand Minister of Defence, Judith Collins, saying the Ministers explored future opportunities for defence collaboration in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific region and discussed the importance of security cooperation between Canada and New Zealand as Five Eyes partners with shared values and extensive defence ties

It was Minister Blair’s first official trip to the Indo-Pacific region as Minister of National Defence.

“Canada is a Pacific nation, and the security and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region are vital to Canada’s future. Through Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy, we are significantly boosting our military presence in the Indo-Pacific — including by deploying three frigates per year to the region for the second year in a row. Together with our partners and allies, Canada is standing up for a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific,” said Mr Blair.

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