THE Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) has completed a goodwill visit to the Philippines, as part of Canada’s defense engagement in the Indo-Pacific Region.
His Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Ottawa docked at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone until September 19. The ship’s namesake is the City of Ottawa—Canada’s capital city, where approximately 15,000 Filipinos and Filipino-Canadians reside.
“The arrival of HMCS Ottawa—the first of three Canadian ships to visit this September—is a demonstration of the close and growing relationship between Canada and the Philippines, and of [our commitment to stability and security in Southeast Asia, as well as] the broader Indo-Pacific region,” Ambassador David Hartman said.
“As maritime nations, [we share a common interest in upholding a rules-based global] order, and maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Hartman added.
During its visit to Subic Bay, HMCS Ottawa had a full program, which covered professional development opportunities with the Philippine Navy, local outreach, and local engagements. It also held a “fun run” and an exchange of the ships’ cooks.
HMCS Ottawa continued the tradition of RCN ships visiting the Philippines, after HMCS Vancouver’s successful visit last year. The former has been deployed since August, and Subic Bay was its second port visit. Throughout the last quarter of 2023, it will conduct forward naval-presence operations, cooperative deployments, and participate in international naval exercises with partner-nations.
Meanwhile, a second Canadian vessel, the MV Asterix, an auxiliary supply vessel leased to the RCN, also arrived in Subic Bay on September 16. The “Asterix” has been in and out of the region since March 2023 to provide replenishment and resupply services to RCN ships. It supports Canadian vessels with efforts in at-sea oiler replenishment, aviation support, medical and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, among others.
A third Canadian ship, HMCS Vancouver, will arrive in Manila by month’s end.