Canadian Royal Navy vessel HMCS Vancouver arrives in Manila for goodwill visit
Canadian Royal Navy vessel HMCS Vancouver arrives in Manila for goodwill visit
Canadian Royal Navy vessel HMCS Vancouver arrives in Manila for goodwill visit
by Karen Ow-Yong30 September 2023
Photo Courtesy: Karen A. Ow-Yong

MANILA –Canadian Navy frigate Vancouver is in Manila for a goodwill visit and is set to participate in military drills between the Philippine Navy and U.S. Navy called the "SAMASAMA" exercises scheduled on October 2 to 13, 2023.

The HMCS Vancouver arrived in Manila on Friday and is docked at the Manila South Harbor.

In a press conference onboard HMCS Vancouver on Saturday, Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines David Hartman said that “the visit of HMCS Vancouver, the third Canadian vessel to make a goodwill visit this September, is an example of how Canada is delivering on its Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPS) commitments.”

“We are enhancing our security and defence contribution by augmenting our regional naval presence and increasing our engagement in international exercises and operations,” Hartman said.


Other navies joining the exercises involve Japan, Australia, France and the United Kingdom, with Indonesia and New Zealand as observers.

While in Manila, HMCS Vancouver will have a full program, including professional development opportunities with the Philippine Navy, community outreach and targeted local engagements, including a friendly exhibition game of hockey at the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City on Saturday.

Commanding Officer Cdr Meghan Coates expressed her excitement to have the opportunity to command HMCS Vancouver for this specific deployment.

“As Pacific nations, we benefit from stability in the Indo-Pacific region, and we strive to work together towards a security environment that promotes peace,” Coates emphasized.


“These activities build interoperability between our navies, while reaffirming the commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific that we share in common,” Coates added.

The Canadian Armed Forces members, she said, would participate in the medical, legal, women, peace, and security activities during the drill’s shore phase.

The vessel's sea phase participation, on the other hand, will focus on partner building, maritime domain awareness, search and rescue, and humanitarian and disaster relief operations, among others.

Canada’s non-resident Defense Attaché to the Philippines, Col. Stewart Taylor, said Ottawa would increase its vessels in the region and join more naval exercises similar to “SAMASAMA” in the future.


“We have a very friendly relationship that continues to grow. And the IPS really gives us the impetus and the resources that we need to bring it to the next level,” he added.

The HMCS Vancouver follows two Canadian vessels that completed their visits to the Philippines last month, which are the HMCS Ottawa and Naval Replenishment Unit MV Asterix, that visited the Philippines on September 14 and 16 and docked in Subic Bay.

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