HMCS Fredericton departed Halifax Tuesday afternoon for a NATO-led mission in the Mediterranean.

The ship departed from the NB Jetty at Canadian Forces Base Halifax at 1 p.m. It will take part in Operation Reassurance – a mission prompted by Russian action against Ukraine in 2014. 

The crew will take the spot of HMCS Winnipeg, which has been involved in the mission since July.

The Canadian frigate will aid in security and surveillance operations in Central and Eastern Europe.

The Hartling family was one of many on hand to see the crew off.

"It's my first big deployment, we've had a couple short ones,” said Madelaine Hartling, the wife of a sailor. “I've got three little ones here – five, two and one – so I'm going to have my hands full."

Hartling says the feeling of deployment is hard to put in words.

"It's the hardest thing I've had to go through, but also the most inspiring thing,” said Hartling. “They're leaving their families for six months, eight months, depending on the mission … They're really proud of what they do."

Rear Admiral John Newton offered words of advice, asking senior crew members to teach and pass on experience to new sailors.

"Put your arm around that person and give them the best deployment in the Canadian Armed Forces that they'll ever have," said Newton.

Commander Trevor MacLean thanked everyone for the support they’ve given the ship’s company over the last six months.

“We have gone through one of the most intensive programs that I have ever been a part of," said MacLean.

Canada has also sent money and equipment to Ukraine, and has dispatched soldiers on training missions with that country's military.

With file from CTV Atlantic’s Suzette Belliveau.