PARTNERS IN GLOBAL PRESENCE
The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) plans to increase its operations in the Pacific region and will look to its U.S. counterparts for
advice on how to accomplish that, says the Navy’s
recently appointed commander.
Vice Adm. Ron Lloyd, who took command of the
RCN in late June, said Canadian Defence Minister
Harjit Sajjan and Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Jon
Vance have made it clear to military commanders that
Canada will expand its presence in the region.
The RCN, which has had a limited Pacific presence
over the years, is moving ahead on those orders.
“We’re going to be operating in the Indo-Asia-Pacific
more often,” Lloyd said in an interview with Seapower.
Like many countries, Canada has focused on the
region because of its growing impact on the country’s
economy. In late August, Canadian Prime Minister
Justin Trudeau visited China to discuss economic relations and announce $1.2 billion in new trade deals. On
Sept. 22, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang came to Canada,
with the two nations announcing the start of exploratory talks on a free-trade agreement.
A greater Pacific presence for
the RCN is seen as a way to both
contribute to security in the region
and improve relations with nations
there, RCN officers said.
Lloyd said he has been consulting with his colleagues in the U.S.
Navy for advice and support about
increasing operations in the Asia-Pacific region. Among the topics
that Canada has inquired about
include joint exercises, how to maintain and sustain ships in the region
and which nations could provide
support for naval operations.
“The Americans have a significant amount of experience operating in that region, and they’ve been
very forthcoming in terms of being able to provide us
assistance as we learn to conduct operations in a region
of the world where typically it’s been more transitory in
nature” for Canada, Lloyd said.
He said the defense relationship with the U.S. Navy
is “absolutely foundational from our perspective.”
The two services are closely integrated and coop-
eration reaches all levels. Lloyd noted, for instance,
that the relationship is at the point where a Canadian
Halifax-class frigate can seamlessly integrate into a U.S.
Carrier Strike Group on short notice.
“I think that speaks volumes in terms of the trust
and the confidence that we have in each other,” Lloyd
said. “I think it speaks volumes in terms of the part-
nership that we’ve established over many years and
decades of operating together.”
Lloyd said that under his watch he will continue
with the recently establish RCN priorities, including
promoting excellence at sea. The service plans to keep
its ships at sea longer in forward deployments as it
maintains its global presence and contributes to inter-
national operations at a time of tight budgets.
Pushing to the Pacific
Royal Canadian Navy to rely on allies as it expands operations
By DAVID PUGLIESE, Special Correspondent
Canada is focused on the Asia-Pacific region because of its growing impact on the country’s economy.
n A greater Pacific presence for the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN)
is seen as a way to contribute to security in the region and improve
relations with nations there.
n Vice Adm. Ron Lloyd, RCN commander, has been consulting
with his colleagues in the U.S. Navy for advice and support about
increasing operations in the region.
n Area air defense and refueling and resupply are two areas
where the RCN will need to rely on allies until it can close the
capability gap with new ships.