Royal Canadian Navy’s only Naval Support Ship, MV Asterix departed for a year-long deployment, on Feb. 6, following a planned maintenance period in Victoria, British Columbia.
The deployment will see Federal Fleet Services-owned Asterix take part in a series of international exercises and security operations throughout the Pacific Ocean, Asia, Middle East and East Africa.
Asterix is accompanied by HMCS Regina, a Canadian Patrol Frigate built at Davie Shipbuilding, and is now en-route to the Indian Ocean where the two ships will take part in Operation Projection, Canada’s ongoing commitment to the region with its international security partners.
This deployment marks the first embarked CH-148 Cyclone detachment from 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron.
HMCS Regina’s Commanding Officer, Commander Jake French told the Lookout Newspaper of the critical capability that Asterix provides, “We’ll be fortunate enough to be working with NRU Asterix so we can maintain a forward presence in the region, get through the long legs required in the Indo Asia Pacific for stores and fuel, increased medical facilities, and an expanded inventory of spare parts.”
Alex Vicefield, CEO of the Inocea Group, which owns both Davie Shipbuilding and Federal Fleet Services said, “It provides a great sense of pride for all Quebecers to see two Davie-built ships working together to make the world a safer place. This deployment is both a showcase for the skills and expertise of Canada’s largest and most experienced naval shipbuilder as well as Federal Fleet Services who have exceeded all expectations and worked flat-out to support the navy. With Canada’s only naval support ship now deploying for another year-long tour, there are no support ships to service the rest of the fleet, specifically those operating within and defending Canada’s three coastlines. This would be an uncomfortable position for any navy to be in so we hope the government delivers on the recommendations from the House of Commons and the Senate to proceed, without delay, to build a second ship – the Obelix.”
Spencer Fraser, CEO of Federal Fleet Services added, “In 2018, Asterix and its expert crew of Federal Fleet Services staff excelled on its Asia-Pacific tour, at an operational tempo higher than any other ship in Canada’s naval fleet. We now look forward to venturing out further during 2019 into the Middle East and East Africa alongside the Royal Canadian Navy and our international security partners. Later this month I look forward to sharing details of Asterix’s cutting-edge, cost-effective and fast-track design with world navies who are looking to procure naval support ships at the Naval Support Ships Conference in London, UK”