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Missile Cruiser Varyag Heads Homeward

Missile Cruiser Varyag Heads Homeward 14.11.2011
Text: Eastern Military District Information Support Department
Photo: Eastern Military District Information Support Department
Pacific Fleet (PF) task unit led by Guard missile cruiser Varyag on Nov 12 has completed visit to Canadian port Vancouver and set a course for Vladivostok.

The visit was held in Nov 8-12. According to Capt 1 rank Sergei Zhuga, "Canadians showed attention and hospitality. We were welcomed very warmly by Canadian servicemen and port authorities".

Suffice it to say that cruiser Varyag and tanker Irkut moored at Canada Place pier in the very heart of the city. In accordance with protocol, Russian servicemen paid courtesy visits to naval command, city administration, and took part in the wreath-laying ceremony at the war memorial in Vancouver.

Russian mariners participated in that solemn activity for the first time ever. Canada conducts the Remembrance Day events every year in commemoration of 117,000 Canadians died in the two world wars and other armed conflicts. PF Honor Guard Company along with Canadian servicemen paraded in the center of Vancouver towards the 10-meter high Victory Square Cenotaph. Sailors of the two countries laid a wreath at the war memorial.

Russian servicemen had an eventful cultural program and an opportunity to get familiar with the city, its history, museums, historical sites and memorials; Russian ships were open for public.

Despite rain and hail, a great number of locals attended the farewell ceremony to see off Russian sailors.

After traditional ceremony, the host ship HMCS Algonquin escorted the PF task unit to the high sea. Crews of the two countries paraded on decks when the ships headed on to salute each other.

Recall that after large-scale exercise off Kamchatka, the task unit consisting of the fleet's flagship cruiser Varyag, tanker Irkut, and a seagoing tug on Sept 20 started a long-range cruise under command of Capt 1 rank Sergei Zhuga.

In Sept 25-30 the task unit paid a courtesy visit to Japanese port Maizuru. After the visit, Russian and Japanese mariners held a bilateral rescue exercise. Then the PF task unit laid a course for Mariana Islands and arrived there on Oct 9.

The 2-day Russian-American anti-terror exercise Pacific Eagle 2011 was held during the visit. The US Navy delegated guided missile destroyers USS McCampbell and USS Fitzgerald. After the exercise, Russian ships headed for Vancouver, Canada and arrived there on Nov 8.

Expectedly, the PF task unit would return to Vladivostok early in December.

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