January 5, 2016 4:40 pm
Updated: January 5, 2016 7:15 pm

HMCS Fredericton departs for Mediterranean Sea to join Operation Reassurance

WATCH ABOVE: Rear Admiral Newton stressed the importance of security and confidentiality as HMCS departed Halifax. The frigate is heading on a six-month deployment to the Mediterranean Sea. Global’s Rebecca Lau reports.

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HALIFAX – Families stood on the jetty, offering heartwarming goodbyes on a frigid Tuesday afternoon at HMC Dockyard.

They were all bidding farewell to the crew of HMCS Fredericton as the frigate departed for a six-month tour on the Mediterranean Sea.

The Fredericton and her crew of 250 is replacing HMCS Winnipeg as part of Operation Reassurance.

The NATO-led mission aims to bring stability to central and eastern Europe, and was prompted by Russian aggression in Ukraine.

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Among those waving goodbye was two-year-old Emmalyn, whose father was heading off on the six-month deployment.

“It’s tough but I mean it’s six months, it’s not a lifetime,” said her mother, Stephanie Kenny.

“She understands that daddy’s going but I don’t think she realizes for how long.”

As the crew put the finishing touches on the ship before their journey, loved ones were already starting the countdown until their reunion in June.

“This is our very first deployment so it’s new emotions, and just trying to learn how to deal with a new step in his career,” said Jennifer Newell, whose husband was also aboard the ship.

“I’m so very proud of everything that he does and I’m so proud to be able to stand behind him and wish him well as he goes away.”

That pride and support was forefront in Cdr Trevor MacLean’s address to the crowd.

“You are the support structure that allows us to do what we do and go accomplish this mission for the government of Canada,” the commanding officer said to the dignitaries and family members gathered on the jetty.

“On behalf of each and every one of us in Fredericton, thank you very much and we will see you in June. Godspeed.”

© 2016 Shaw Media

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