Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships (HMCS) Winnipeg and Regina are participating in Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2020, a large-scale international maritime exercise that is held every two years.
As part of RIMPAC, HMCS Winnipeg had the opportunity to practice the tactics and procedures involved in firing Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles (ESSMs) on August 23-24 2020, off the coast of Hawaii.
ESSMs are medium-range missiles used to protect ships from attacking missiles and aircraft. They provide self-defence battle space and firepower against high-speed, highly manoeuvrable anti-ship missiles in the naval environment.
A live-firing event is the culmination of months of training and preparation. It provides invaluable data about the ship’s combat management system and demonstrates the Royal Canadian Navy’s (RCN) ability to conduct and support force generation overseas.
“Preparing for a missile shoot begins many months before the shoot itself, and is integrated with a demanding readiness programme that tests the skills and endurance of the entire operations team,” says Lieutenant (Navy) Iain Richardson, Weapons Officer on board HMCS Winnipeg.
“We are required to train not only for the shoot, but also for any and all possible system issues or emergencies,” says Richardson. “While the process is long, the privilege of participating in such an important exercise makes it entirely worthwhile.”
The biennial exercise contributes to the increased lethality, resiliency, and agility needed by cooperative international forces comprised of maritime, land and air elements to deter and defeat aggression by major powers across all domains and levels of conflict. The exercise provides a unique training opportunity that strengthens international maritime partnerships, enhances interoperability, and improves the readiness of RCN for a wide range of potential operations.
Hosted by the United States Navy every two years in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California, RIMPAC fosters and sustains cooperative military relationships among nations seeking to promote peace and security in the Asia-Pacific Region.
Canada is a maritime nation with strong ties to the Asia Pacific. Our security and prosperity depend increasingly on our partnerships in the region. Our regular participation in RIMPAC supports military diplomacy that, in turn, fosters trust and cooperation amongst allies and partners. At the same time, our continuing presence in the Pacific demonstrates our national commitment to promoting peace and security throughout the world.