Warship Watch. No to foreign warships in Halifax Harbour!

2012.05.29.HalifaxNoHarbourWar-MHowe-01

Haligonians have a long history of protesting visits by warships. Photo of May 29, 2012 action.

(October 13) – On October 5, the French Rubis-class nuclear-powered submarine L’Améthyste arrived at Canadian Forces Base Shearwater in Halifax, the first such visit in two years. Speaking on behalf of the organization No Harbour for War, Allan Bezanson unequivocally rejected the presence of the submarine. “We want Halifax to be a factor of peace in the world and a zone for peace,” he told the Chronicle Herald. He pointed out that the comings and goings of these warships is usually tied in with war exercises.

Margaret Conway, Canadian Forces Base Halifax spokeswoman, confirmed this, noting that hazardous material training was conducted on October 3 to test the emergency response plan at the base. “It’s like a fire drill, right? The likelihood is not big at all, but it’s so that we’re prepared and that we can test all of the different pieces that are working together,” said Conway.

A Department of National Defence spokesman presented the visit of the French warship as an innocuous matter, stating that it is merely stopping to resupply. The fact is the French navy is used to conduct aggression in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean, besides marauding in the South Pacific, the Mediterranean, Adriatic and other seas. The role of the French navy in U.S.-led aggression against Syria, aimed at regime change, cannot be denied because French ships have been involved in airstrikes on Syria in “retaliation” for chemical weapons attacks spuriously attributed to the Syrian government. As well, France, together with the U.S. and Canada, staged a coup against the Aristide government in Haiti. To say its submarines are merely “resupplying” in Canadian ports is disingenuous to say the least. To present the involvement of Canadian territory and bases in war and aggression as a matter of mundane business reveals a bad conscience.

Bezanson also pointed out that the USS Hué City has been docked near Casino Nova Scotia. Named after a battle in the Vietnam War, it is a Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser whose very name betrays its aggressive purpose. Bezanson explained that it had “just returned from war exercises held jointly with HMCS Halifax and HMCS Toronto off the coast of Nova Scotia.” He decried the presence of numerous U.S. warships, which have been in port since May. Many warships from the U.S. Navy are sent to ports around the world for Columbus Day (October 8 this year), he said.

No Harbour for War repudiates the government’s pressure on Haligonians to accept the presence of foreign warships in Halifax Harbour as business as usual. It upholds Haligonians’ longstanding opposition to Canada’s participation in war and aggression and their demand that Halifax be a Zone for Peace. They reject the arrogance of the U.S. imperialists and their allies who seem to think they can lay claim to Halifax. Their very name says: No Harbour for War!

For your information – History of the USS Hué City

1990s

Hué City sailed March 11, 1993, for her maiden Deployment to the Mediterranean Sea as Air Warfare Commander for the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier battle group (CVBG). Principally operating in the Adriatic Sea, Hué City developed the air picture and transmitted it to command centres afloat and on shore. Hué City also monitored the safety of United Nations relief flights to Bosnia, ensuring Serbian aircraft did not violate no-fly zones.

While conducting training near Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, in April 1994, Hué City was directed to serve as Destroyer Squadron 22 flagship in support of sanctions against Haiti. Hué City sailed for her second deployment March 22, 1995, with the Theodore Roosevelt CVBG. Hué City took station in the Red Sea, where she provided air coverage to the Combat Air Patrol enforcing the no-fly zone in Southern Iraq.

Hué City sailed for the Baltic Sea on May 24, 1996 to participate in operations involving forty-eight ships from thirteen nations. The operations focused on tracking air, surface, and subsurface targets in a multinational task force. Hué City deployed on April 29, 1997, to the Mediterranean Sea as Air Warfare Commander for the John F. Kennedy CVBG. Hué City operated in the Adriatic Sea, overseeing all air activity in support of naval operations.

In 1999, Hué City sailed for counter-drug operations in the Caribbean Sea. Later that year, Hué City participated in Baltic Operations, a multinational exercise consisting of fifty-three vessels from twelve nations.

2000s

Hué City conducted multinational exercises in South America while acting as flagship in UNITAS 2000 Caribbean phase. On June 26, 2000, Hué City sailed to New York City, as the reviewing ship for President Clinton and his family, Secretary of Defense, Secretary of the Navy, Chief of Naval Operations, Commandant of the Marine Corps, and Commander, Cruiser Destroyer Group (COMCRUDESGRU) 12 in the International Naval Review 2000.

As part of the George Washington CVBG, and in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Hué City set sail in support of defence and humanitarian efforts off the coast of New York.

Ships and aircraft of the John F. Kennedy CVBG commenced use of the Vieques Island inner range beginning September 24, 2001, in conjunction with their Composite Unit Training Exercises (COMPUTEX). The exercise, which began the week prior, also utilized the northern and southern Puerto Rico operating areas, and involved complex battle group training events, naval surface fire-support training and air-to-ground bombing.

Hué City then took part in Underway No. 10, one in a series of tests leading to the Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) Operation Evaluation (OPEVAL) scheduled for Spring 2001. The CEC system provides the capability to cooperatively engage targets by a warship using data from other CEC-equipped ships, aircraft, and land-based sensors, even in an electronic-jamming environment. It also provides a common, consistent and highly accurate air picture, allowing battle group defences to act as one seamless system. The test, off Wallops Island, Virginia, simulated missile firings from some of the Navy’s most technically advanced ships against unmanned drones.

As part of the John F. Kennedy CVBG, Hué City took part in Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX) 02-1, with Phase I of the exercise running from January 19-26, 2002 and Phase II running February 7-14, 2002.

In March 2002, Hué City was part of John F. Kennedy CVBG as it relieved the Theodore RooseveltCVBG, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

In May 2002, during a three-day Naval Gun Fire Support (NGFS) exercise off the coast of Djibouti, Africa, Hué City fired hundreds of five-inch rounds in support of Marine Expeditionary Unit Exercise 2002 (MEUEX ‘02) at more than 60 targets that included tanks, bunkers, and various military vehicles. Hué City joined the Wasp Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit to conduct this first of its kind exercise in this little-known region of northeast Africa.

2010s

Prior to 2014, Hué City successfully completed consecutive deployments to the Persian Gulf and North Arabian Sea.

On April 14, 2014, Monday evening, a fire broke out at just after 6:20 pm local time while Hué City was steaming about 200 nautical miles northeast of Bermuda. The crew fought and defeated a major fire in one of the main engineering spaces without suffering any injuries. The ship’s executive officer was relieved by the head of Carrier Strike Group 8 in June 2014 for “failing to ensure his crew properly stowed hazardous materials” which subsequently caught fire. According to the investigation report, bales of rags caught fire after they had been improperly stored in an exhaust uptake trunk. The fire caused over $23 million in damage and required over nine months of repairs. It also caused Hué City to miss the planned deployment to Europe.

(Wikipedia)

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