The Canadian navy commissioned the HCMS Winnipeg in 1996. The Halifax-cruisers operates along the country's Pacific shores, protecting the country's sovereignty, enforcing its laws, and dealing with maritime disasters when they arise. The fast frigate class carries harpoon missiles and a multi-purpose helicopter. Like many modern naval vessels, much of the ship's equipment is dedicated to carrying out anti-submarine warfare. The ship has never had a chance to use the equipment for this purpose, but it has participated in anti-terrorism operations in the Persian Gulf. It has also participated in anti-piracy operations along the shores of Somalia.
The Economic Impact of the Vessel
Because the HCMS Winnipeg spends most of its time in the Pacific ocean, it does not have much of an impact on the major ports. When it does spend time in its ports of call, the sailors spend money in the area. During fleet weeks or similar events, it may boost tourism. However, the sailors of the Royal Canadian Navy, regardless of where the server, strive to increase the maritime security of their country. Only a few of the sailors take maritime security courses. These course, provided by the state, help protect their fellow sailors.
What About the Merchant Marine?
Although the Merchant Marine often operates under a quasi-military structure, its employees are civilians. They might, in some countries, be pressed into service during time of war. Somali piracy has shown that there is a greater need for ocean going vessels to protect themselves while they are at sea. Operators of these vessels need to make sure that the crew knows how to deal with any threats. This may include repelling an attempt to board the vessel. For some crew members, this may even include weapons training. It largely depends on where the ship and its crews will operate. Many of these course stress less-lethal security methods.
What About the Other HCMS Winnipeg?
The current royal navy frigate is not the first ship to bear the name. The first such vessel served during World War II, and it was decommissioned during the 1960s. Unless some server misfortune befalls the current ship, future ships in the Canadian navy will bear the same name. The current ship will likely remain in service for many years. The sailors on both ships carried out the proud traditions of the branch of the military in which they serve.
Will It Become a Museum?
Cities often use old naval vessels as museums. The United States Navy has maintained one of its first sailing vessels, the US Constitution for this purpose. Visitors can come in and see what life aboard an old wooden sailing vessel was like. One or two ships that aw service during World War II received similar treatments. Because Canada is no less proud of its fleet, several vessels sit in some of its harbors. These vessels welcome tourists, although they do not help people find maritime security courses. They may, however, give a visitor a good idea of what this once entailed.