The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have announced there will be an increased military presence in the area of Southern Vancouver Island from now until June 28th.
The increased presence is due to the CAF conducting a variety of exercises throughout the region. These exercises will include an increased number of ships, aircraft and uniformed personnel carrying weapons that members of the public can expect to see in the region.
According to the CAF, these exercises are critical to maintaining operational readiness of their assets which are located in Victoria and Esquimalt, the home of Canada’s Pacific Naval fleet.
The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) and Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) will be heavily involved in the training that is to take place and they will be joined by other facets of the CAF as well as participants from the United States, Japan and Canada’s NATO allies.
From May 31st to June 28th, the RCAF will have assets such as their CP-140 Aurora and CF-18 Hornet aircrafts in the air offshore and will be joined by the RCN and the United States Air Force.
Following those RCAF exercises, the RCN will be conducting their training using Halifax-class frigates, Kingston-class Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels, small boats and the supply ship, Motor Vessel (MV) Asterix. These training routines will take place from June 12th to June 28th near Albert Head, Constance Bank and in the Comox-Tofino corridor.
The CAF says these exercises are important to ensure interoperability with allies and partners.
According to military personnel, measures will be taken to limit the impact on marine mammals such as the Southern Resident Killer Whales and all activities will come to a halt should any whale be seen near their training site.
Communities which will be directly impacted due to noise levels will receive direct and targeted communications from the CAF.
The CAF also says all exercises were designed to ensure public safety is a priority.