On September 9, a US Navy destroyer and a Royal Canadian Navy frigate made a routine transit through the Taiwan Strait, an area of high importance due to ongoing tensions between Taipei and Beijing. As detailed by the North American Seventh FleetThe two ships crossed waters subject to freedom of navigation and flight on the high seas in accordance with international law.
On this occasion, the ships transiting the Taiwan Strait were the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Ralph Johnson DDG 114 and the Halifax-class frigate HMCS Ottawa FFH 341 of the Royal Canadian Navy.
As the commander of the Seventh Fleet explained, “…the ships passed through a strait passage that lay outside the territorial sea of any coastal nation. The bilateral transit of the Ralph Johnson and the Ottawa through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the commitment of the United States and our allies and partners to a free and open Indo-Pacific. Such cooperation is central to our approach to a safe and prosperous region where aircraft and ships from all nations can fly, sail and operate anywhere permitted by international law.
The Canadian presence in the Indo-Pacific region is part of Ottawa’s strategy to increase its presence in the region, and it is important for it. Deployed in mid-August to the Halifax-class frigates HMCS Ottawa and HMCS VancouverSo is the MV Asterix logistics ship. Both naval units make up the Royal Canadian Navy’s second and third warships, which will be deployed to the Indo-Pacific region in 2023. “…This fulfills Canada’s commitment to increase the number of warships deployed annually in the Indo-Pacific region from two to three starting this year…” Details provided by the Government of Canada in a timely manner.
The Halifax-class frigates have a crew of approximately 240, each consisting of Royal Canadian Navy sailors and a Royal Canadian Air Force detachment that operates the CH-148 ship-launched multi-purpose helicopters. As for the MV Asterix, it has a mixed crew of 150 civilian and military personnel, and also has air, sea, medical, and resupply capabilities that allow for a wide range of support at sea, whether for military operations or in support of secondary activities. Emergency assistance.
Meanwhile, the destroyer USS Ralph Johnson is assigned to Task Force 71/Destroyer Squadron 15 (DESRON), the largest forward-looking DESRON ship of the US Navy and the primary surface force of the US Seventh Fleet. The latter is one of the essential elements for Washington to maintain and increase its presence in the region.
Cover photo: US Navy – MCS 1st Class Jamal Liddell
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