HMCS Charlottetown and its crew of approximately 250 will depart Halifax on Sunday for a six-month mission to the Mediterranean Sea.

The ship will join other NATO ships participating in Operation Active Endeavour, NATO's counterterrorism effort in the Mediterranean.

Cmdr. Wade Carter of the Charlottetown said the mission is called Operation Metric.

"We're going to be working with a NATO group, it's a standing NATO group. We've done it many times in the past — this will be a very similar deployment to that," Carter told CBC News on Thursday.

"It's a rapid reaction force. It can react to events and crises as they unfold but I have no specific mission along those lines at this point."

Carter said he does not know of any plans for the Charlottetown to go to the Strait of Hormuz — a vital Persian Gulf waterway used by tankers carrying one-sixth of the world's oil supply.

Iran has threatened to close the strait as possible retaliation to new economic sanctions over Iran's nuclear program.

"It seems like to me there's some posturing going on. I don't know where that's going to end up," said Carter.

"I don't think NATO has any specific intention or direction at this time to deploy forces to the Strait of Hormuz, either."


Supplies are loaded on HMCS Charlottetown as the ship prepares to leave for the Mediterranean. (Stephen Puddicombe/CBC)

Iran recently test-fired a number of short- and long-range missiles as part of a 10-day naval exercise in the Strait of Hormuz.

Carter said the Charlottetown and its crew are more than capable of moving from the Mediterranean Sea, through the Suez Canal and the Red Sea to the Arabian Sea and the Strait of Hormuz area if they're called to help.

"If there's a crisis and they want us to deploy there, we will be ready to do that," he said.

A CH-124 Sea King helicopter detachment will also be aboard the Charlottetown when it departs this weekend.