Your Navy Today - June 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

BALTOPS 2020

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Ships from nations participating in BALTOPS 2020 sail in formation while in the Baltic Sea, June 8, 2020.

HMCS Fredericton participates in BALTOPS 2020 with Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 while on Op REASSURANCE

Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Fredericton participated in BALTOPS 2020, between June 7 and 16. The event brought together NATO allies and partner nations who participated in a variety of training serials that focused on air defence, anti-submarine warfare, maritime interdiction and mine countermeasure operations.

BALTOPS 2020 included two at sea phases which were divided into two segments. The first segment included both combat enhancement and force integration serials, which provided opportunity for the forces to rehearse common tactics, techniques and procedures through scripted events. The second segment was a tactical phase, providing commanders more freedom to run tactical programs and better represent operating in real world scenarios.

Stalker 22 Crew

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Starting from top left: Sub-Lieutenant Abbigail Cowbrough, a Marine Systems Engineering Officer; Sub-Lieutenant Matthew Pyke, Naval Warfare Officer; Master Corporal Matthew Cousins, Airborne Electronic Sensor Operator; Captain Maxime Miron-Morin, Air Combat Systems Officer; Captain Kevin Hagen, Pilot; and Captain Brenden Ian MacDonald, Pilot.

Canadian Armed Forces members recovered from Stalker 22 crash identified

On June 18, the Office of the Chief Coroner for Ontario identified the remains of four of the six Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members killed in the CH-148 Cyclone helicopter crash of April 29, meaning the remains of each of those who were lost in the horrific crash have now been recovered.

Remains of the following CAF members have been positively identified:

  • Captain Kevin Hagen, Pilot, originally from Nanaimo, British Columbia
  • Captain Maxime Miron-Morin, Air Combat Systems Officer, originally from Bécancour, Quebec
  • Sub-Lieutenant Matthew Pyke, Naval Warfare Officer, originally from Truro, Nova Scotia
  • Master Corporal Matthew Cousins, Airborne Electronic Sensor Operator, originally from Guelph, Ontario

Their remains were located and recovered during a combined CAF-United States Navy search and recovery operation conducted between May 25 and June 2. The lost members have been repatriated and returned to their families in Halifax, Truro and Victoria.

BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC

Bill Wilson

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Sailors, including Bill Wilson, gather around copies of a local newspaper celebrating Victory in Europe.

Battle of the Atlantic Heroes: Bill Wilson

On the morning of May 8, 1945, HMCS Ottawa (H31), along with the destroyer HMCS Restigouche, was alongside on the Dartmouth side of the Halifax Harbour.

It was somewhere around 11:15 a.m. when I heard a merchant ship that was close by blowing its horn repeatedly. Signalman “Soup” Campbell was reaching out for the lanyard controlling our ship’s siren and yelling, “The war is over!”

Within seconds, the entire harbour was a bedlam of noise as every merchantman and warship, large and small, began blowing its horn and siren. It was Victory in Europe.

FEATURE STORIES

Ceremonial keel laying

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On January 16, 2020, representatives from the Government of Canada and the Royal Canadian Navy, many of Seaspan Shipyards’ more than 2,800 employees, and other guests gathered for a ceremonial keel laying event.

Construction contract awarded for RCN’s Joint Support Ships

On June 10, the Joint Support Ship (JSS) Build Contract was awarded to Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards Ltd. This $2.4-billion contract will undertake the full construction phase for the replacement of the RCN’s two, previously decommissioned, Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment vessels.

The Protecteur-class JSS is critical to the future of the RCN, and constitutes a vital and strategic national asset.

It will provide Canada with a modern, task tailored naval support capability that can provide support to the ships and aircraft of a naval task group at sea, support operations ashore, and provide a vital sea-lift capability enabling global reach for the CAF.

Olive Bailey

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Olive Bailey

Code breaker Olive Bailey played pivotal role in ending Second World War

For decades Olive Bailey kept her work during the Second World War and the pivotal role she played in bringing it to an end a secret.

She was a young woman living through the German bombings on London and Wales, studying mathematics at the University of London.

In 1942, British Intelligence assigned her to work at Bletchley Park as a code breaker. It was a top secret project in a Victorian mansion 60 kilometres north of London. She was told never to breathe a word to anyone about her work.

Divers

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Divers from HMCS Ville de Québec prepare to dive.

HMCS Ville de Québec focused on mental health of crew

HMCS Ville de Québec took extreme measures to ensure its ship’s company remained free of COVID-19, including a two-week hotel isolation period before heading to sea in mid-April as one of two ready-duty ships on the East Coast. 

Keeping sailors physically healthy is crucial to the ship maintaining its readiness, but with crew members separated from their loved ones during a difficult time, taking stock of the morale and mental health on board became increasingly important.

Sailors were concerned about their loved ones at home facing the pandemic, others knew victims of the shootings in the Portapique, N.S. and all were coping with the tragic loss of their colleagues from HMCS Fredericton. Those who required it were given time to grieve, while others found solace sticking to their routine and keeping up with the normal business of being at sea.

In addition, efforts were made to consistently plan fun or interesting activities for the crew to look forward to such as domestic presence operations so that the crew could connect with Canadians, a sports day in early May and activities such as barbecues, s’mores, sing-alongs and karaoke.

SPECIAL REPORTS

Dive back in: RCN skilled re-enrollment now available

The RCN is actively seeking to re-enroll former sailors who were fully trained in an RCN occupation and continue to meet enrollment requirements.

In an effort to reduce wait times, the Canadian Armed Forces Recruiting Group (CFRG) has streamlined the re-enrollment process for previous Regular Force skilled applicants. Anyone considering coming back to the RCN should fill out an application and CFRG will work to expedite your re-enrollment.

The RCN is currently looking for former sailors with experience in the following occupations:

A skilled applicant processing team is standing by to expedite your file.

Apply online today at: http://www.forces.ca

SPOTLIGHT ON SAILORS

OS Éloïse Lavoie

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OS Éloïse Lavoie

Meet Ordinary Seaman Éloïse Lavoie. She is a nursing student and reservist from HMCS Donnacona who deployed on Op LASER and made a difference at long-term care facilities.

SLt Nicole Spivey

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SLt Nicole Spivey

Meet Sub-Lieutenant Nicole Spivey. She is HMCS Nanaimo’s physician assistant, or “Doc” as she is referred to by the crew. Physician assistants see the usual ailments that come from working in tight, close quarters, with disrupted sleep schedules and the unique trials and tribulations that come with the territory in which the crew operates: a ship at sea.

GETTING SOCIAL

VIDEOS OF THE MONTH

PHOTOS OF THE MONTH

Special Announcements

Have you heard? The Navy Bike Ride has gone virtual!

There is still time to register and participate in this year’s Navy Bike Ride: Battle of the Atlantic challenge. From June 13 to August 30, participants are invited to register and participate in the FREE virtual challenge.

With over 3,000 rides logged so far, our goal of 25,000 rides by the end of the challenge is within reach. Don’t miss out on your opportunity to participate in this fun charity event, raising money for the Royal Canadian Naval Benevolent Fund and Support Our Troops. Together we will make waves, together we will ride!

Registration is free and can be completed via our website.