Your Navy Today - February 2021

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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

Members of HMCS Halifax’s deck department in the fjords of Norway

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Members of HMCS Halifax's deck department in the fjords of Norway n February 10, while deployed on Op REASSURANCE.

HMCS Halifax continues rotation as flagship of Standing NATO Maritime Group 1

Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Halifax continues its rotation as flagship for Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1) while on Op REASSURANCE.

Halifax is training and improving its capabilities by conducting “Wednesday War” scenarios every week. These scenarios are led by a small group of sailors that put the whole ship’s company to the test with either an emergency or warfare serial.

In addition to the training Halifax is conducting on its own, SNMG1 participated in a number of serials with the German Navy this past month.

“The multinational vessels that comprise SNMG1, including their embarked air assets, have an intensive program of operational patrols and training exercises scheduled with various NATO allies and partners in our designated area of operations,” said Commodore (Cmdre) Bradley Peats, Commander of SNMG1.

Conducting frequent military-to-military interactions and high-intensity training activities among naval forces increases the common knowledge and familiarity of each other’s maritime platforms, capabilities, tactics, techniques and procedures.

HMCS Halifax is scheduled to continue its rotation on Op REASURANCE for another four months.

HMCS Victoria, HMCS Saskatoon, HMCS Regina and an RCAF Cyclone helicopter at sea

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HMCS Victoria, HMCS Saskatoon, HMCS Regina and an RCAF Cyclone helicopter at sea during Task Group Exercise 21-01, on February 10.

TGEX 21-01 wraps up and HMCS Calgary departs for Ops ARTEMIS and PROJECTION Asia-Pacific

TGEX 21-01 wrapped up on February 19, and was a tremendous success. The exercise saw HMCS Victoria return to sea and complete its Basic Single Submarine Readiness Training, signalling its return to normal readiness after being in extended readiness since September 2020. The TGEX included anti-aircraft warfare exercises that involved Vindicator drones, at which HMC Ships Regina and Calgary fired a total of four Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles. The engagement also increased the interoperability of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) with its partners and friends from the U.S. Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF).

HMCS Calgary, along with it’s embarked Cyclone helicopter and embedded Naval Tactical Operations Group boarding party, has departed on Op PROJECTION Asia-Pacific, and is making its way to the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea to participate in Op ARTEMIS as part of Combined Task Force 150, currently under the command of Cmdre Dan Charlebois.

Commodore Angus Topshee addresses the sailors of HMCS Saskatoon

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Commodore Angus Topshee addresses the sailors of HMCS Saskatoon prior to their departure from Esquimalt, B.C., on Operation CARIBBE on February 18.

HMC Ships Saskatoon and Brandon depart for Op CARIBBE

HMC Ships Saskatoon and Brandon departed Esquimalt Harbour, B.C., on February 18 to participate in the multinational counter-narcotics operations in the Caribbean Sea and the eastern Pacific Ocean called Op CARIBBE.

The Canadian Armed Forces has conducted Op CARIBBE since 2006 with successive deployments of RCN ships and RCAF aircraft. HMCS Moncton deployed on Op CARIBBE in late January and is intended to return to Canada in mid-March, meaning that the RCN now has three ships supporting this important counter-narcotics operation together with our international partners.

Over the past 14 years, the CAF has contributed to the disruption or seizure of approximately 105 tonnes of cocaine and over 6.725 tonnes of marijuana.

Northern lights flare above HMCS Harry DeWolf

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Northern lights flare above HMCS Harry DeWolf during cold weather and ice trials near Frobisher Bay, Nunavut, on February 21.

HMCS Harry DeWolf conducts Cold Weather Trials

HMCS Harry DeWolf has been conducting cold weather and ice trials near Frobisher Bay, Nunavut, this month, marking the first time that the new Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS) has had an opportunity to sail through ice since its delivery to the RCN.

CANADIAN NAVAL HEROES

Bernice McIntyre

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Bernice McIntyre

Bernice McIntyre: From wartime Wren to the regular navy

Bernice McIntyre was born August 8, 1921, in Dauphin, Man. Her mother died when Bernice was 17 years old and her father sold the farm a year later. He married his widowed sister-in-law and took over the care of her four children.

When she was older, Bernice started business college in Dauphin. It cost $10 per month to take the course so she worked for the owner of a hairdressing salon, taking care of the owner’s elderly mother and doing the laundry for the business to earn the money she needed.

Dauphin had an Air Force base nearby with a flight school and gunnery school. Bernice and a friend planned to join the Air Force. She was finding it difficult to afford the tuition for college, and when she asked her father if he would give her $5 per month to help her out, her stepmother refused.

She had to quit college and started working in a tea room. One day a friend came to tell her that the Navy was recruiting women. Bernice, who was a head waitress at the time, asked her boss for an hour off and went to apply. She was concerned about her chance of being accepted because she had not finished her business course and only had a grade eight education.

Once she got back to work, the night shift waitress asked her where she had been. Bernice told her about going to apply to the Navy, and this waitress asked Bernice to cover for her while she went down to submit her application too. Both Bernice and Bessie McLaren signed on the dotted line on October 14, 1942, and were told they would receive further instructions by mail.

As she nears her 100th birthday, share in Bernice’s lifetime of memories about serving with the Wrens, the Naval Reserve and the regular navy.

Admiral Percy Nelles

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Admiral Percy Nelles

Admiral Percy Nelles transforms RCN during Second World War

In 1939, Admiral Percy Nelles faced the greatest challenge of his career in the RCN.

With the Second World War just beginning, the RCN consisted of only six destroyers, five minesweepers and a handful of auxiliary vessels. It’s total strength, permanent and reserve, was just over 3,600.

A tiny navy by any comparison, it was to grow in remarkably short time to a size beyond all recognition.

This was largely accomplished by the foresight of Admiral Nelles.

In the pre-war years, he never lost sight of what he believed to be the RCN’s destiny. When war came, the plans he had carefully laid and nurtured were transformed into reality.

By the end of the Second World War, Canada had one of the largest navies in the world with 95,000 men and women in uniform, and 434 commissioned vessels including cruisers, destroyers, frigates, corvettes and auxiliaries.

FEATURE STORIES

Sergeant Phillip Safire

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Sergeant Phillip Safire, William Hall’s great-great-great-nephew, addresses those present for the keel laying of HMCS William Hall.

Ceremony marks keel laying for future HMCS William Hall

The fourth AOPS being built for the RCN has now entered full production, with a keel-laying ceremony on February 17 marking a significant milestone for the future HMCS William Hall.

Keeping in accordance with public health directives, including respecting physical distancing and wearing masks, a small group of sailors, shipbuilders and community members gathered at Irving Shipbuilding’s Halifax Shipyard for the occasion, which had the added significance of taking place during Black History Month.

Petty Officer William Hall, VC (1827-1904), was the first Black person and the first Nova Scotian to be awarded the Victoria Cross (VC), as well as being just the third Canadian to receive the honour at that time. His heroic actions as a crewmember of the Royal Navy ship HMS Shannon during the 1857 Relief of Lucknow, India, are well documented, and led to his selection as one of six Canadian naval heroes to serve as namesakes for the Navy’s newest class of ships.

An artist’s rendering of the new Canadian Surface Combatant

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An artist’s rendering of the new Canadian Surface Combatant.

The Canadian Surface Combatant provides operational agility

Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, has committed to investing in 15 Canadian Surface Combatants (CSC). These multi-role ships will form the backbone of Canada’s combat sea power as the centrepiece of the RCN future fleet’s mix of CSCs, Protecteur-class Joint Support Ships (JSS), Victoria-class submarines, and Harry DeWolf-class Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships.

With its effective advanced warfare capability and versatility, the CSC can be deployed rapidly anywhere in the world, either independently or as part of a Canadian Naval Task Group or international coalition. It will be able to deploy for many months away from homeport, with a limited need to resupply when supported by a JSS.

Canada is a vast nation, and the RCN has responsibilities in all three oceans that border the country.

Commodore Dan Charlebois

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Commodore Dan Charlebois speaks at the Combined Task Force 150 change of command ceremony, held on January 27 in Bahrain.

Canada takes command of CTF 150

Cmdre Dan Charlebois of the RCN assumed command of Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150) from Rear-Admiral Sulieman Al Faqeeh of the Royal Saudi Navy on January 27. The change of command ceremony was held at Naval Support Activity in Bahrain.

CTF 150 is a naval task force conducting maritime security and counter-terrorism operations under Combined Maritime Forces, a multinational coalition of 33 nations. The CTF 150 area of operations includes the Gulf of Oman, Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean off the East Coast of Africa, which spans over two million square miles and includes some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.

SPOTLIGHT ON SAILORS

Lieutenant (Navy) Denise Dickson

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Lieutenant (Navy) Denise Dickson

Meet Lieutenant (Navy) Denise Dickson. She is a Marine Systems Engineering Officer who began her military career almost by accident nearly two decades ago.

Sailor 1st Class Eric Archambault

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Sailor 1st Class Eric Archambault

Meet Sailor 1st Class Eric Archambault. He maintains a healthy work-life balance while deployed by communicating with family, planning activities for his shipmates, kickboxing and meditating.

GETTING SOCIAL

VIDEOS OF THE MONTH

PHOTOS OF THE MONTH

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS

Navy Bike Ride Virtual Harry DeWolf Challenge

Are you ready to ride?

The Navy Bike Ride is pleased to present the 2021 Virtual Harry DeWolf Challenge. Get ready to ride as we target 30,000 cumulative rides as we chart the course for HMCS Harry DeWolf’s inaugural deployment through Canada’s Arctic and North American waters!

Registration is now open for this free event, which will run from June 12 through August 29. Together we ride. Together we make waves.