HMCS Toronto receives U.S. Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation
Navy News / February 20, 2015
HMCS Toronto has received recognition from the U.S. Navy for her support of Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150), significantly disrupting the flow of drugs, criminal and terrorist activities while deployed on Operation Artemis in the Middle East.
A U.S. Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation was presented to the ship by U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert on February 20 in Halifax. U.S. Ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman, Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, and several members of the U.S. and Canadian governments and navy leadership also attended the ceremony.
A non-U.S. naval force receiving a U.S. Navy unit decoration is a rarity; this event marks only the fifth occurrence in the last 45 years.
“An honour such as this continues to demonstrate the world-class capabilities of the Royal Canadian Navy’s ships and their crews,” said VAdm Norman. “I would like to thank Admiral Greenert for bestowing this honour on HMCS Toronto and her crew, and I congratulate the officers and sailors receiving this commendation today for modelling what duty and dedication entails, and for upholding the Royal Canadian Navy’s tremendous reputation for excellence at sea.”
The U.S. Navy’s Meritorious Unit Commendation recognizes HMCS Toronto for service in 2013, while conducting maritime security operations with CTF-150 in the Middle East. The ship and crew demonstrated exceptional professionalism and thoroughness in the tracking, boarding and searching of Contacts of Interest, resulting in an impressive string of narcotics seizures, including more than 1,300 kilograms of heroin and over 6,000 kilograms of hashish. Seizures of a large magnitude can significantly affect the ability of unlawful organizations to fund their illegal operations.
Canadian Minister of National Defence Jason Kenney added: “I am proud to congratulate Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship Toronto on its Meritorious Unit Commendation, which recognizes the outstanding work of our sailors, and air men and women, who work in partnership with our allies to increase peace and security in the maritime environment of the greater Middle East region, helping to deny international terrorists the use of shipping lanes and disrupting the drug trade funding their activities. The members of HMCS Toronto are a reflection of our Canadian Armed Forces as a whole, who conduct themselves with honour and professionalism, both in defending Canada at home and in increasing safety and security abroad on international missions such as Operation Artemis.”