HMCS Chicoutimi First Non-US/ Japanese Participant in Annual Readiness Activities
(Source: Royal Canadian Navy; issued Dec 11, 2017)
OTTAWA --- The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) has operated with the Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) throughout 2017 in support of Canada's new Defence Policy, Strong Secure, Engaged.

Earlier in the year, the frigates HMCS Ottawa and HMCS Winnipeg deployed to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region ‎to further advance interoperability with the JMSDF and other regional defence partners.

The highlight of these activities was the inaugural bi-lateral initiative KAEDEX, which included events at sea and ashore. KAEDEX is an appropriate title as it translates to maple, a meaningful tree in both of our nations.

Most recently, HMCS Chicoutimi has been deployed to operate out of Japan as a clear indication of Canada's commitment to peace and security in the region. The JMSDF and the United States Navy (USN) conduct these readiness preparations to evaluate procedures and interoperability in order to provide an effective and cohesive response to a regional contingency in the Asia-Pacific. For the first time since the inception of AnnualEx, a non-JMSDF/USN participant was able to participate.

"I would like to most sincerely thank, Admiral Murakawa and the JMSDF and Vice-Admiral Phillip Sawyer and the 7th Fleet for enabling HMCS Chicoutimi to participate in AnnualEx. Canadian submariners are exceptionally well-trained and when combined with the stealth of a Victoria-Class submarine, they form a formidable capability. It was truly an honour for HMCS Chicoutimi to represent Canada and the RCN in AnnualEx", said Vice-Admiral M.F.R. Lloyd‎, Commander RCN.

The proliferation of diesel electric submarines (SSKs) in the Indo-Asia Pacific region is testimony to the significant capability that these platforms represent. Simply put, the presence of an SSK will alter the dynamic in an area of operations as a result of their lethality and ability to remain undetected. ‎

“In 2017, the JMSDF and RCN have operated together in the western Pacific, which represents a practical demonstration of our common interests as maritime nations. I was particularly delighted with the inclusion of HMCS Chicoutimi in AnnualEx 17. Our work with the submarine has been a big step forward in seeking high-end readiness for the JMSDF and Royal Canadian Navy,” said Admiral Yukata Murakawa‎, Chief of Staff JMSDF.

In addition to AnnualEx, HMCS Chicoutimi will continue to conduct operations with the JMSDF and the USN operating out of Japan until early 2018.

Deployments of this nature are not only key to underwriting peace and security in the region but they also underscore the value of naval diplomacy in furthering Canada's broader global engagement strategy as noted by His Excellency Ian Burney, the Canadian Ambassador to Japan.

"The presence of HMCS Ottawa, Winnipeg and Chicoutimi in the region this year boosted military-to-military relations with Japan and demonstrated Canada's commitment to peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region. The renewed durable presence of the Royal Canadian Navy here is very helpful, so we hope to see this sustained in the years ahead."

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