Canadian, U.S. and Australian militaries engaging in joint exercise off south Island coast

Some vessels, aircraft may be seen due south of Clover Point

Victoria residents will be able to enjoy a free air show of sorts over the coming days, though from a distance.

Canadian CF-18 Hornet fighter jets, long-range patrol aircraft and Sea King helicopters will be seen soaring through skies off the west coast of the Island, as part of a military training exercise that begins Monday (May 7) and continues until May 18.

Though some of the action will take place in Constance Bank, roughly due south of Clover Point in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, some participating vessels will travel as far as Tofino.

Several Royal Canadian Navy warships and maritime coastal defence vessels will work alongside ships from Australia and the U.S.

The task-group exercise is designed to give military members an opportunity to further develop their skills in a group environment.

“Participating units prepare for a wide range of potential operations and missions to strengthen Canada’s ability to work in a multinational and joint environment,” a Royal Canadian Navy statement said.

“(The exercise) aims at honing each unit’s operational skills, enhancing Canada’s maritime contribution to global security across a broad spectrum of operations.”

emccracken@vicnews.com