Your Navy Today - March 2020

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Your Navy Today is a monthly newsletter highlighting your Royal Canadian Navy’s current Operations, stories about our sailors and historic naval heroes, new equipment and technology and the top photos and videos. Click here to subscribe to the monthly email.


OPERATIONS UPDATE

HMCS Fredericton

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Boatswains aboard HMCS Fredericton prepare for a replenishment-at-sea.

HMCS Fredericton continues operations in Mediterranean on Op REASSURANCE

Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Fredericton participated in DYNAMIC MANTA 20 from February 24 to March 8 in the Central Mediterranean Sea. DYNAMIC MANTA focused on interoperability and proficiency in anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare skills. Ships, submarines, aircraft and personnel from nine allied nations participated.

HMCS Fredericton is continuing its operations in support of Op REASSURANCE as a member of Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2), supporting NATO assurance and deterrence measures in Central and Eastern Europe.

In order to maintain operational capability during the COVID-19 pandemic, HMCS Fredericton has established preventative health measures and response plans on board and while the ship is in port. These protocols have been put in place to limit the crew’s potential exposure to the disease.

SNMG2 is the only force that is standing ready to execute NATO missions in that part of the world, as well as the only task group in the region capable of responding to crisis events.

HMCS Whitehorse crew members

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Crew members from HMCS Whitehorse conduct a boarding serial during Operation CARIBBE.

HMC Ships Whitehorse and Nanaimo to return early from Op CARIBBE

HMC Ships Nanaimo and Whitehorse are now returning to Canada earlier than planned from Operation CARIBBE, where they had been helping stop the flow of illegal narcotics in the Caribbean Basin and Eastern Pacific region. The decision to suspend the Nanaimo and Whitehorse employments early was taken in consultation with our US counterparts and is aimed at limiting our sailors’ potential exposure to COVID-19 while also affording us maximum capacity to preserve at-sea readiness/capability to carry out core missions in support of the Government of Canada if tasked once the ships return home. The ships are now planned to return to Canada in early April instead of May.

HMCS Shawinigan

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Lt(N) Gregory Wagner-Conserve, a deck officer from HMCS Glace Bay, looks through a range finder during replenishment-at-sea approaches in the Gulf of Guinea, during Operation PROJECTION West Africa.

HMC Ships Glace Bay and Shawinigan to return ahead of schedule from Operation PROJECTION West Africa

HMC Ships Glace Bay and Shawinigan will return to Canada earlier than planned from Operation PROJECTION West Africa for reasons similar to Op CARIBBE (above), as well as owing to the cancellation of two scheduled international exercises. USN-led annual African Theatre exercises OBANGAME EXPRESS and PHOENIX EXPRESS were cancelled in response to the global effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. With these cancellations, the ships are now also planning to return to Canada in early April instead of May.

BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC

BOA commemorative events postponed; celebrations continue virtually

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy (CRCN) has made the difficult decision to undertake a nation-wide operational pause of all RCN-led commemoration activities until at least the end of May. Significantly, this means that the premiere BOA Sunday commemorative events and ceremonies planned for May 3, 2020 – including the National Commemoration at the National War Memorial, as well as the events planned in the few days running up to BOA Sunday – will all be deferred. The intention will be to resume the commemorative events again later this year when the situation permits. In the meantime, all previously planned 75th anniversary BOA commemoration events, ceremonies, and gala (NAC concurring; TBC) will be deferred to a fall date, perhaps coincident with Niobe Day (TBD).

Though the ceremonial events are on hold, the RCN will continue to commemorate and celebrate the victory of the BOA virtually through our social media accounts and BOA web page. As well, expect to see some guidance and encouragement soon from the RCN as to how we can all individually and safely salute our amazing predecessors come the first Sunday in May.

Additionally, to help celebrate this momentous occasion, a commemorative coin and lapel pin will be available at Canex stores online in early May.

For full details, please read CRCN’s complete message on the deferral of BOA events.

Your Royal Canadian Navy: Then, Now and Forever

As we commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of the Battle of the Atlantic, we reflect on our proud naval history.

FEATURE STORIES

Lt(N) Jennifer Loye

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Lt(N) Jennifer Loye conducts forward aeromedical training in the vicinity of Gao as part of Task Force Mali.

Navy nurse drilled into peacekeeper’s bone while airborne to save his life

When the call came over the radio that numerous UN soldiers had been injured and needed to be evacuated by helicopter in Gao, Mali, Lieutenant (Navy) (Lt(N)) Jennifer Loye and her team were ready to help.

One patient “had multiple gunshot wounds. I could see they were still conscious.” She hooked the patient up to his monitoring equipment.

“Based on his vital signs I could tell that he needed blood product. He was also going to require an ultrasound and pelvic binding.”

When she found out the intravenous that was inserted in the field wasn’t working, she realized she would have to drill into the patient’s bone using an intraosseous infusion to deliver blood product to the patient.

For her efforts throughout the mission, Lt(N) Loye received a Chief of Defence Staff Commendation.

CPO1 Lucie Simpson

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CPO1 Lucie Simpson talks to three female Candian Armed Forces members on parade.

Chief Petty Officers hope to inspire young women

“To see a woman in a senior leadership position is a celebration, a testimony that it is possible.”

These words from Chief Petty Officer 1st Class Lucie Simpson highlight the changes that have taken place in the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) over the past few years.

As more women join the navy, those trailblazers currently in senior positions have learned how crucial it is to engage, empower and mentor their younger colleagues.

AS Jack Hannam, LS William McClure and Stoker William Cummings

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From left: Able Seaman Jack Hannam, Leading Seaman William McClure and Stoker William Cummings arrive safely in Penzance, England after their exhausting trip across the English Channel.

1944: Sailors in motor cutter saved Athabaskan crew members in race back to England

It was the dead of night on April 29, 1944, and HMCS Haida was patrolling with its sister ship HMCS Athabaskan in support of a British mine-laying operation. Athabaskan had just received orders to intercept German warships that had been spotted in the area by coastal radar.

Stoker William Alfred Cummings from Toronto and Leading Seaman William Arthur McClure from Wellington, B.C., were aboard Haida taking care of their usual duties.

Little did they know that the next few hours would call on all their strength, stamina and courage.

SPECIAL REPORTS

Crew of HMCS Whitehorse

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Due to COVID-19, the crew of HMCS Whitehorse, taking part in Op CARIBBE, will return earlier than expected from their deployment.

Royal Canadian Navy Update - Ongoing COVID-19 Response

The situation regarding the impact of COVID-19 continues to evolve. The RCN has taken several steps to mitigate the risk to the entire naval team while ensuring we remain “Ready to Help, Ready to Lead, Ready to Fight.”

To this end, the Commander RCN (CRCN) has issued two updates to date concerning the navy’s ongoing COVID-19 response. Additional direction and guidance will be provided, as required, as well as periodic updates in order to keep you appraised of the steps the RCN/CAF/DND continues to take against COVID-19.

In his most recent COVID-19 update released on April 1, CRCN noted that:

  • All units within the RCN are minimizing the presence of sailors and civilian staff in the workplace in accordance with Public Health guidance;
  • The RCN has deferred this year’s Battle of the Atlantic commemoration activities;
  • The RCN has joined the remainder of the CAF in curtailing training and education activities across the country. Only critical force generation training will continue on a very limited basis;
  • Sea-going ships and units are implementing a range of preventative measures to limit potential COVID-19 exposure;
  • Operations CARIBBE and PROJECTION West Africa are concluding ahead of schedule;
  • Operation REASSURANCE remains active as a premiere pan-domain, Canadian contribution to collective defence in the Euro-Atlantic theatre;
  • With regard to Force Generation sailing, only essential sailings related to critical national defence and security objectives will be conducted until further notice, so that the RCN is best-poised to contribute to the pan-CAF Op LASER (pandemic response) and Op LENTUS (domestic emergency) efforts; and
  • Ready Duty Ships maintained on both coasts continue to be ready as always to respond to short-notice tasks at-sea or alongside.

In his first update to the RCN team, CRCN said that:

  • Essential work at Her Majesty’s Canadian Dockyards in Esquimalt and Halifax continues with all possible health-risk mitigations incorporated appropriately;
  • Fleets on both coasts have taken steps to implement additional precautions to safeguard the operational effectiveness and health of sailors;
  • Fleet leadership has adjusted sailing schedules; and
  • Reserve Divisions have cancelled all non-essential activities.

SPOTLIGHT ON SAILORS

CPO1 Alena Mondelli.

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CPO1 Alena Mondelli.

Meet Chief Petty Officer 1st Class Alena Mondelli. The greatest experience of her career was during her latest rotation as a member of HMCS Toronto on Op REASSURANCE!

GETTING SOCIAL

VIDEOS OF THE MONTH

PHOTOS OF THE MONTH