Canadian frigate in Subic Bay for goodwill visit
SUBIC BAY FREEPORT—Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) frigate His Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Ottawa made a port call here on Thursday as part of its six-day goodwill visit to strengthen its partnership with navies in the Indo-Pacific region.
HMCS Ottawa docked at Rivera Wharf around 9 a.m. and was welcomed by officials of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, led by its chair and administrator, Jonathan Tan.
At a press briefing aboard the frigate, Canada’s Ambassador to the Philippines David Hartman said the port call was a “demonstration of the close and growing relationship between Canada and the Philippines.”
Hartman said HMCS Ottawa would be the first of three Canadian ships to visit the country this month.
“As maritime nations, Canada and the Philippines share a common interest in upholding a rules-based international order, and maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific,” he added.
According to the Canadian Embassy, HMCS Ottawa’s visit to Subic Bay would also “ensure stability and security in Southeast Asia and the broader Indo-Pacific region.”
The crew of the HMCS Ottawa will engage in professional development opportunities with the Philippine Navy, community outreach and local engagements, including a fun run and an exchange of the ship’s cooks, Hartman said.
“Port visits are ideal occasions for our sailors, soldiers and aviators to explore and strengthen the deep connection Canadians have with the Indo-Pacific through people,” he said.
HMCS Ottawa is continuing the tradition of RCN ships making port calls in the Philippines after the visit of another Canadian frigate, HMCS Vancouver, last year.
Subic Bay became the second port visited by HMCS Ottawa after Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia since its deployment in August.
The Canadian Embassy said the vessel would conduct forward naval presence operations, cooperative deployments and participate in international naval exercises with partner nations until the last quarter of 2023.
“These activities build interoperability between navies, while reaffirming our shared commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Commander Samuel Patchell, commanding officer of HMCS Ottawa, said.
Another Canadian ship, MV Asterix, an auxiliary supply vessel leased to the RCN, will also visit Subic Bay on Sept. 16. A third Canadian ship, HMCS Vancouver, will arrive in Manila later this month.