HMCS Summerside & HMCS Moncton foster lasting ties with Côte d’Ivoire

Atlantic Region News / April 24, 2017

By Leading Seaman Ryan Tenhaaf with LCdr Kelly Williamson

West Africa- Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships Summerside and Moncton conducted a port visit to Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire from 3 March to 3 April as part of their deployment on NEPTUNE TRIDENT 17-01. The port visit provided the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) with an opportunity to learn, foster and strengthen relationships with Côte d’Ivoire.

The port visit began with a tree planting ceremony at Université Nangui Abrogoua. Lieutenant Commander (LCdr) Nicole Robichaud, LCdr Paul Smith and a small group of sailors planted approximately 20 trees as part of a larger project spearheaded by the Canadian Embassy in Côte d’Ivoire.

“The activity was part of a broader Canada 150 initiative to help reforest part of the University campus and emphasises the importance of environmental stewardship, explained Her Excellency Patricia McCullagh, Canada’s Ambassador to Cote d’Ivoire.  “The trees are also symbolic and represent the strong ties we are fostering with Côte d’Ivoire. The visit of HMCS Summerside and HMCS Moncton, helps strengthen this bond. Canada’s sailors were tremendous ambassadors for Canada throughout this visit.”

During the visit to Abidjan, RCN sailors also helped local youth leaders clean and protect their environment during a beach clean-up organized in conjunction with the municipality of Grand Bassam. Finally, the crews of Summerside and Moncton, joined forces to field a team for a friendly basketball tournament with the Abidjan Basketball Academy and la Féderation ivoirienne de basketball.

As Summerside and Moncton slipped and proceed to sea for the next phase of Neptune Trident, HMCS Moncton had the pleasure of hosting Her Excellency Patricia McCullagh, Canada’s Ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire, during a day sail. LCdr Nicole Robichaud welcomed Her Excellency on board and they discussed the impact of the community outreach events conducted while alongside.

Once at sea, HMCS Moncton conducted ship maneuverability demonstrations and reactions to emergencies, displaying the expert knowledge of her crew under the One Navy Concept. The sailors were happy to engage with Her Excellency describing the routine of life at sea as a Canadian Sailor. Her Excellency was also was given the opportunity to act as a helmsman. Guided by Leading Seaman Devin Rathgaber, she experienced a hands-on practice of the maneuverability of the KINGSTON class.  On completion of maneuvering demonstrations, the ship practiced a man overboard drill allowing Her Excellency to witness the quick reaction capability of a highly trained and motivated crew. The day sail was concluded with a short boat ride to shore with Lieutenant-Navy Ted Marr and Leading Seaman David Dion.