Canadian frigate HMCS Calgary tied up alongside Princes Wharf yesterday after two months at sea taking part in Operation Talisman Sabre, a military exercise involving Australia, the United States, South Korea and Japan.
The ship is flying the maritime quarantine flag and the crew will not be able to disembark until New Zealand health officials are satisfied that all requirements of the Maritime Border Order have been met, including the return of negative Covid-19 tests by all the crew, and that all crew members have been symptom-free for 14 days. The ship has Covid-19 testing facilities aboard.
Almost all of the 250 personnel on board Calgary are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and have been at sea for 17 days – longer than the 14-day quarantine period currently mandated.
The ship is in port for resupply and refueling and the crew will engage in shore-based activities, sporting and cultural programmes with the RNZN.
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Calgary's speciality is anti-submarine warfare and was involved in 13 exercises during Talisman Sabre. The vessel also practised aircraft tracking, warning and engagement with the Royal Australia Air Force.
"Ship visits like this are a practical representation of the strong working relationship the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) has with the Canadian armed forces," said Rear Admiral David Proctor, chief of the Royal New Zealand Navy.
"This is a chance to return some of the excellent support and comradeship the Royal Canadian Navy provided the hundreds of RNZN sailors who have been in Canada over the past three years during the Anzac Frigate Upgrade," he said.
Calgary is in port until August 10 and is the first visit by a foreign military ship since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic last year.