HMCS Halifax, Athabaskan depart for NATO exercises

HMCS Athabaskan and HMCS Halifax will train while travelling across the Atlantic to take part in multinational military exercises dubbed Joint Warrior and Trident Juncture.

Joint Warrior, Trident Juncture exercises involve ships, aircraft, thousands of personnel

HMCS Athabaskan left Halifax Harbour in September to join NATO exercises overseas. (Maritime Forces Atlantic/Twitter)

Two Royal Canadian Navy ships left Halifax Harbour on Tuesday to join NATO exercises overseas. 

HMCS Athabaskan and HMCS Halifax will train while travelling across the Atlantic to take part in multinational military exercises dubbed Joint Warrior and Trident Juncture. 

The vessels will first take part in the U.K-led Joint Warrior. 

"Once those are concluded, the ships will be joined by HMCS Summerside and Goose Bay to participate in Trident Juncture [which] will take place off the coast of Portugal and Spain," said Capt. Cameron Hillier of Maritime Forces Atlantic.

The exercises train ship and aircraft personnel with NATO allies, he says. 

"Basically, it increases our chances to work inter-operability, enhance combat readiness for both ourselves and our Allies and our preparedness to address any Maritime security issues." 

Trident Juncture involves 36,000 personnel from 30 nations. The exercise will certify the staff at Joint Force Command Brunssum in the Netherlands to lead any joint task force operations in international conflicts until the end of next year.

In June, Defence Minister Jason Kenney said a submarine will also be participating in the exercises. Hillier confirmed Tuesday that a submarine had left Halifax, but said the navy will not disclose exactly where its submarines are positioned.

Around 800 Canadian Armed Forces members on the ships will take part in the exercises between September and the end of November.

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