First Canadian navy ship visits Colombo in nearly 30 years

Crewmembers of Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship Winnipeg prepare to dock at the port of Colombo, Sri Lanka. (Picture by NATO)

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HMCS Winnipeg’s visit to Sri Lanka recently was the first by a warship from Canada since the early 1990s. The ship conducted global engagement activities supporting the Government of Canada, including community outreach and meetings with senior officials and dignitaries.
“This deployment will see HMC Ships Winnipeg and Ottawa training abroad in the Indo-Asia-Pacific. Already at sea, these warships will have the people, tools, skills and flexibility needed to respond quickly if called upon to support Canada’s priorities in the region, and to provide the government with defence and security options,” said Cdr Gresmack, who is responsible for Maritime Forces Pacific Operations told The Sri Lanka Reporter in an interview.

 RAdm Art McDonald Maritime Forces Pacific/ Joint Task Force (Pacific) and Commander Jeff Hutchinson, Commanding Officer HMCS Winnipeg meet with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe.

RAdm Art McDonald Maritime Forces Pacific/ Joint Task Force (Pacific) and Commander Jeff Hutchinson, Commanding Officer HMCS Winnipeg meet with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe.

“Warship deployments such as this one place impressive, sovereign, sea-based capability “in-region” where it affords great optionality for the Government of Canada should a timely Canadian response be necessary to a regional occurrence.
Canada has recognized the region plays a vast role in commerce and security.
“This near six-month deployment of multiple warships signals the strategic importance of the Indo-Asia-Pacific region to Canada and reinforces Canada’s commitment to the maintenance of regional peace and security,” he added.

“The Indo-Asia-Pacific is a hub of international activity and has great importance for international commerce. The area itself is too large for any one nation to monitor and requires the ability of like-minded nations to work together to meet its unique challenges. “
Sri Lanka strategic
“Sri Lanka is strategically positioned in the Indian Ocean along sea routes that connect Southeast Asia with the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East and Eastern Africa. The Indian Ocean, however, is more than just a conduit for commerce. Its littoral is vast, its populations diverse, and its history rich in culture. Sri Lanka is a key part of this regional narrative,” he further added.

Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Sajjan meet crewmembers of HMCS Winnipeg and Ottawa prior to thier deployment at CFB Esquimalt in March 2017. PMO Picture

Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Sajjan meet crewmembers of HMCS Winnipeg and Ottawa prior to thier deployment at CFB Esquimalt in March 2017. PMO Picture

Prime Minister Trudeau meets with families of crewmembers of HMCS Winnipeg and Ottawa prior to thier deployment at CFB Esquimalt in March 2017. PMO Picture

Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Sajjan meet crewmembers of HMCS Winnipeg and Ottawa prior to thier deployment at CFB Esquimalt in March 2017. PMO Picture