Thursday, August 22, 2013

Expanding focus on Trade with Asia has some seeking larger naval presence on West Coast

With two Gateways to Asia on the West Coast now, Canada has set its focus on Asian trade and expanding relationships with the countries of the Pacific Rim.

With that expanding presence across the Pacific, some defence planners are suggesting that the time has come for a larger military presence on the West Coast to take place, mainly by way of an increase in the  number of naval vessels tasked to West Coast duties.

And while the Federal Government doesn't seem inclined to increase the budget for the West Coast fleet, there are some suggestions that transferring assets from east to west coast, could help to re-balance the current allocation of naval resources for both Atlantic and Pacific fleets.

With Prince Rupert quickly becoming a major transportation hub on the Pacific Ocean, the desire for an increased Navy presence in the region continues to grow.

And while some would like to see a more permanent presence for the Navy on the North Coast, perhaps in the form of  an increased reliance on reserve vessels, most if not all of any possible additions to the Pacific coast fleet from the east, will more than likely be based out of CFB Esquimalt in Victoria.

The current make up of the Royal Canadian Navy, Pacific Fleet is as follows:

Maritime Forces Pacific
Maritime Forces Pacific Command Team

With the number of port calls increasing each year, the focus of Prince Rupert for the Royal Canadian Navy remains an ongoing theme, not only in the nature of possible Search and Rescue requirements, but as well as for border and coastal integrity with a growing number of port calls arriving in harbour.

An indication as to some of that interest can be found in a You Tube presentation from last year, following a tour by Rear Admiral Nigel S. Greenwood, of the Royal Canadian Navy, who provided some observations on the growing stature of the Port with the Navy.


Some background on the wide range of talking points about a Pacific focus to National Defence can be found below.

Victoria Times Colonist-- Shift warships from Halifax to CFB Esquimalt defence analysts urge
Halifax Chronicle Herald-- Navy could shift to Pacific
Ottawa Citizen-- Should the Royal Canadian Navy Transfer Warships...
CFAX-- Deploying Canada's naval resources
Atlantic Council-- Canada's ability to defend its shores will be vital in the coming years
The Ruxted Group-- Far Distant Ships: Looking at the future of Canada's Navy
David S. McDonough-- The Royal Canadian Navy in the Pacific - A look at capabilities

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