HMCS Charlottetown returns to port following six-month NATO deployment
The Canadian Press
Published Friday, January 13, 2017 8:02AM AST
Last Updated Friday, January 13, 2017 12:55PM AST
HALIFAX -- Family members and friends lined a dock on the Halifax waterfront Friday to welcome the return of a Royal Canadian Navy ship following a six-month deployment overseas.
HMCS Charlottetown pulled into port on a clear, mild day after a stint with NATO forces in the Mediterranean and Black seas as part of Op Reassurance -- Canada's contribution to NATO security operations in central and eastern Europe.
Lt.-Cmdr. Kelly Williamson said the ship arrived two days ahead of schedule by getting ahead of bad weather overseas.
But the frigate, with about 240 crew on board, was parked at the mouth of Halifax harbour since arriving Thursday to allow members to finish training requirements and tests.
"They had a few things they needed to complete before their mission was finished," she said. "All the people that had deployed had been conducting training for several months, so they were doing some qualification boards while they were waiting to come alongside."
The vessel was deployed with a Sea King and an enhanced naval boarding party.
Canadian frigates have been continually attached to a NATO fleet operating in the Mediterranean and Black seas since April 2014, shortly after Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimea region and began military action in eastern Ukraine.
Charlottetown, which completed its Halifax-class modernization program in June 2014, left Halifax on June 27 to replace HMCS Fredericton in the mission.
HMCS St. John's left earlier this week to replace Charlottetown.