Mark Collins – Chilean Navy Temporarily to Provide Royal Canadian Navy with Supply Ship

Further to the comment made June 26 at 3:05 pm at this post,

RCN Joint Support Ship Stopgap: Feds Talking with Davie, Québec

the Armada de Chile is sailing to the rescue:

Chilean Navy supply ship arrives to provide support to Royal Canadian Navy


A Chilean Navy supply ship arrived in Esquimalt, British Columbia today as part of an agreement which will enhance interoperability with the Royal Canadian Navy as well as provide RCN sailors the opportunity to continue replenishment-at-sea training pending the arrival of Canada’s new Queenston-class supply ships, the RCN noted in a news release.

More details provided by the RCN:

Through a Mutual Logistic Support Arrangement (MLSA), the Armada de Chile (Chilean Navy [cool website here]) will operate its replenishment ship AO-52 Almirante Montt [website here, ex-US Navy] for 40 sea days in the Canadian Pacific region in support to RCN training requirements.

The training that will be conducted using the Chilean replenishment vessel, Almirante Montt, is vital to maintaining the individual skills and core seamanship abilities within the Canadian Fleet that are essential to deployed operations, as well as to retain the expertise necessary to operate the Queenston Class once they are delivered.

This is an initial, short-term initiative to address the RCN’s at-sea support services capability gap. In order to assist the RCN to complete their missions over the next several years, the Government of Canada has decided to enter into preliminary discussions with Chantier Davie Canada Inc. about pursuing an interim capability for a commercial ship to be refitted for military use [see quote at start of post].

Photo above: A Chilean Navy supply ship sails past Duntze Head when arriving at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Esquimalt on July 3, 2015… 

Via Timothy Choi (@TimmyC62) at twitter.  Meanwhile:

Seaspan Building Joint Support Ships for RCN: No Smooth Sailing

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds


11 thoughts on “Mark Collins – Chilean Navy Temporarily to Provide Royal Canadian Navy with Supply Ship”

  1. RCN’s REGULUS program under which personnel assigned to foreign navies:

    ‘It’s said that a ship is only as strong as its crew: skills, experience and proficiency are critical for all ranks and sea trades and for the operational excellence of a navy as a whole. When the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) was anticipating limited at-sea experience for some sailors as the Halifax-class Modernization (HCM) program was kicking into gear, they looked to the REGULUS program.

    “REGULUS is about getting young men and women of the RCN to sea during a period of reduced sailing opportunities,” said Lieutenant (Navy) Arthur Halpenny, REGULUS Personnel Coordinator. Through personnel exchanges with friendly navies around the world, Canadian sailors hone their skills and gain valuable international experience while working on board foreign vessels, strengthening the RCN’s core competencies.

    Since the REGULUS’ inception in 2010, more than 150 RCN personnel have been sent abroad to countries such as the United States, New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Chile. “The exchanges are mutually beneficial. If possible, we’ll place our sailors in billets that the partner navy may have trouble filling. Partner navies, in turn, often seek RCN training once they witness the talent and professionalism of our sailors.”..’

    And consider all the surplus personnel from our decommissioned supply ships and destroyers.

    Mark Collins

  2. Chileans getting $6 million, RCN working on deal with Spain for east coast help:

    “Chile and Spain will provide resupply ships to the Royal Canadian Navy on a temporary basis as the Canadian government tries to fast-track the leasing and conversion of a commercial vessel that can provide fuel and provisions to its warships.

    The Royal Canadian Navy’s senior leaders have been scrambling over the last six months to put in place such measures because of ongoing delays in the construction of its two new supply ships.

    Those two vessels — called joint support ships — won’t be ready until 2021. In the meantime, the RCN took its two aging supply ships out of service, leaving it with no way of its own to provide fuel, ammunition and other supplies to its vessels at sea.

    The Chilean Navy ship, Almirante Montt, arrived at the naval base here on July 3 and will be available for 40 sea days, RCN spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Desmond James said.

    Negotiations are still underway with Spain for the provision of a supply ship to be used for the RCN’s Atlantic fleet.

    The Royal Canadian Navy estimates it will need to rely on its allies and a leased commercial tanker for at least the next six years.

    …the Almirante Montt will be available to support training for Canada’s Pacific naval forces. Canada is paying Chile CAN $6 million (US $4.8 million) for access to the ship for the 40 sea days, James said…”

    Mark Collins

  3. At Canadian American Strategic Review (further links at original):

    “With a little help from our friends – Chilean Navy leases RCN an AOR”

    …DND had no choice but to look at other solutions. The first opportunity arose with Chile’s willingness to lease a modern AOR of the Armada de Chile. The Almirante Montt is an American Henry J. Kaiser class AOR – formerly the USNS Andrew J. Higgins (T-AO-190) – sold to Chile in 2009. There’s irony here. CASR produced a Modest Proposal based on the Kaiser class AOR back in late May 2004. At that point, DND’s planners still saw JSS as a true multi-purpose Joint Support Ship and a simple AOR like the US Military Sealift Command Kaiser class had no place in their thinking.

    Fast forward a decade … DND’s hypothetical multi-purpose ship concept has morphed into equally non-existent AORs. With the Protecteur class dropping out of service even earlier than expected, the RCN is eager to accept the loan of any foreign AORs. And, fortunately, through the Regulus exchange programs, the RCN has made some favourable connections….”

    Mark Collins

  4. Latest:

    “Spanish ship arrives in Halifax to help Canada’s naval supply ship gap
    SPS Patino will help provide supplies on the Atlantic, while the Pacific is aided by a Chilean ship”

    Webpage for Spanish ship here (note rest of navy):

    Mark Collins

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