02 March 2011

Canadian Warship Dispatched To Libya

A Canadian frigate is on its way to waters off Libya.
Canada is following the lead of its allies and stepping up its military presence around violence-plagued Libya.

HMCS Charlottetown will depart Halifax today on a weeklong journey to the region to assist with the evacuation of Canadian civilians, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced Tuesday in the House of Commons.

"The men and women of our naval forces, the men and women of all of our armed forces, have been called upon time and time again to make a difference in difficult situations," he said during question period. "We are once again pleased that they are answering the call."

The navy frigate and its crew of 240 officers and seamen will join two C-130 Hercules aircraft that are already in the area and are capable of landing on shorter, unpaved terrain. Canada also has one C-17 in nearby Malta along with 22 military police officers, medics and reconnaissance personnel.

Defence Minister Peter MacKay said the ship carries a Sea King helicopter and is prepared to go beyond simply removing the remaining 100 to 200 Canadians still stuck in Libya.

"The intention here is obviously to provide ... for the continued support of all efforts to remove Canadians ... from Libya as well as support, if need be, certain humanitarian efforts," he said.

"As we've seen in Haiti, this is a very versatile platform. To have this type of capability in the region, we feel will further empower our efforts to evacuate Canadians and to prepare for other inevitabilities, whether it's the enforcement of sanctions (or) to work with the international community."
By: Shelldrake

No comments: