Your Navy Today - Volume 4 Issue 5

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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.


FUTURE FLEET

The ship’s company of HMCS Harry DeWolf

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The ship’s company of HMCS Harry DeWolf gives three cheers during the commissioning ceremony.

RCN commissions HMCS Harry DeWolf

In a commissioning ceremony held in Halifax on June 26, 2021, the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) welcomed into service the first Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship, Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Harry DeWolf, while thousands of Canadians and RCN team members watched virtually.

In addition to the commissioning, the ship and its crew have also marked other milestones recently, including landing a CH-148 Cyclone helicopter on its flight deck on May 19, and conducting warm weather trials off of Puerto Rico in April.

HMCS Harry DeWolf – the first new ship commissioned into the RCN in more than 20 years – is named in honour of wartime Canadian naval hero Vice-Admiral Harry DeWolf. This is the first time in its 111-year history that the RCN has named a class of ships after a prominent Canadian Navy figure. The five additional ships in the class will be named to honour other prominent RCN heroes who served their country with the highest distinction.

OPERATIONS UPDATE

Members of the Canadian Armed Forces contingent, deployed on Operation Unifier

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Members of the Canadian Armed Forces contingent, deployed on Operation Unifier supporting Exercise Sea Breeze 21, participate in the exercise’s opening ceremony in Odesa, Ukraine, on June 28.

CAF deployed 24 military personnel to support Exercise Sea Breeze 21

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) deployed 24 military personnel to Odesa, Ukraine, to participate in Exercise Sea Breeze 21 from June 28 to July 10.

This annual exercise was co-hosted by the United States Navy and the Ukrainian Navy, with the support of NATO’s Partnership for Peace program. The CAF delegation supporting this exercise was comprised of RCN clearance divers from Fleet Diving Units Pacific and Atlantic, members from the Naval Tactical Operations Group (NTOG) and staff officer mentors.

The RCN’s participation in Exercise Sea Breeze 21 was part of Operation Unifier, the CAF military training and capacity-building mission in Ukraine.

Crew members of HMCS Calgary prepare narcotics for disposal

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Crew members of HMCS Calgary prepare narcotics for disposal during counter-smuggling operations on May 17 in the Arabian Sea during Operation Artemis and as part of Combined Task Force 150.

HMCS Calgary has record-breaking success on Operation Artemis

On June 14, HMCS Calgary finished off a successful two-month rotation of Operation Artemis where, working with the 34-nation Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) and the Canadian-led Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150), the ship conducted maritime interdiction operations intended to stop the flow of illicit revenue to regional criminal and terrorist organizations.

HMCS Calgary set two records while on this mission. Its 17 successful counter-narcotics seizures were the most any single ship has made on any rotation in the history of CMF – setting the record not only in terms of the number of seizures, but also in terms of the weight of narcotics seized and wholesale dollar value. The ship also set the record for the largest single heroin seizure in CMF history.

The ship has now moved on to the second leg of Operation Projection. The major highlight of this will be participation in Exercise Talisman Sabre in late July. The ship is set to return to Esquimalt, B.C., in early September.

HMC Ships Brandon and Saskatoon

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HMC Ships Brandon and Saskatoon returned home to Esquimalt on May 20, after a successful Op Caribbe.

HMC Ships Brandon and Saskatoon return to Esquimalt from Op Caribbe

HMC Ships Brandon and Saskatoon returned to Esquimalt, B.C., on May 20, following a successful deployment on Op Caribbe, working with embarked United States Coast Guard law enforcement officers to counter drug trafficking activities in the Eastern Pacific.

One of the highlights of the mission occurred on March 21, when HMCS Brandon intercepted a drug smuggling boat and seized 870 kg of cocaine. Only two days later Saskatoon seized 250 kg of cocaine and 45 kg of cannabis. Within this short time frame, the two ships seized approximately $44M USD of illicit drugs.

The mission’s goal is to not only keep drugs off North American streets, but to ultimately stop the funding of criminal organizations that use drugs as a revenue source.

USS Mount Whitney

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USS Mount Whitney, the command and control ship for Exercise Steadfast Defender.

RCN flag officers assumed key leadership roles during major NATO exercise

Rear-Admiral Steve Waddell, an RCN officer currently serving with the U.S. Navy as the Vice-Commander of the U.S. 2nd Fleet, was the Maritime Component Commander of this year’s NATO Exercise Steadfast Defender.

The RCN’s Commodore (Cmdre) Marcel Hallé, who is currently serving with NATO’s Allied Maritime Command, was the exercise director.

A third key command position for this exercise was held by the RCN’s Cmdre Bradley Peats, commander of Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 aboard flagship HMCS Halifax.

The exercise officially began on May 12 and ended June 22. Part one of the exercise’s maritime component ran from May 20 to 30 off the coast of Portugal.

Steadfast Defender was the first large test of NATO’s adapted command structure and involved two new commands: one focused on logistics, Joint Support and Enabling Command, based in Germany, and the other focused on the Atlantic, Joint Force Command Norfolk, based in Virginia.

With participation from 20 Allies from North America and Europe, the exercise helped improve the interoperability of Allied forces and military mobility throughout Europe.

CANADIAN NAVAL HEROES

AB George William Boyer

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AB George William Boyer

AB George Boyer survived torpedo attack

Able Seaman (AB) George William Boyer, a Métis sailor, served in the RCN during the Second World War.

The war instantly became a reality for AB Boyer when the ship he served in was torpedoed by a German submarine in August 1944. Since AB Boyer was not injured from the explosion, he volunteered to be part of the skeleton crew to safely bring the ship back to port in Scotland.

AB Andy Bougie

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AB Andy Bougie

Battle of the Atlantic Heroes: Able Seaman Andy Bougie

Serving as a radar operator during the Battle of the Atlantic, AB Andy Bougie served in HMCS Skeena when the ship sunk a German U-boat with a depth charge.

This was a significant contribution as convoys were vulnerable to enemy U-boat attacks. The enemy wanted to sink Allied ships carrying goods across the Atlantic to cut off supply lines.

FEATURE STORIES

HMCS Corner Brook

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HMCS Corner Brook during its undocking process.

Canada’s most modern submarine returns to the water

When HMCS Corner Brook began its undocking on June 13, it became the most modern submarine in the RCN. Corner Brook had been in an Extended Docking Work Period (EDWP) since 2014 in Esquimalt, B.C.

In addition to repairs, the EDWP included several notable upgrades, such as a new communication mast, called the Universal Modular Mast, which will allow high-speed, highly secure, jam-resistant satellite communications with shore, and the BQQ-10 sonar suite.

PO2 John Reid McDougall

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PO2 John Reid McDougall with the garden he started from seeds in the Flight Deck Control Room of HMCS Halifax.

Sailor grew seeds on the high seas

Petty Officer 2nd Class (PO2) John Reid McDougall, who was deployed on Operation Reassurance in HMCS Halifax, decided to take on a new hobby while at sea. After buying soil and building a planter during a port visit, PO2 McDougall planted seeds from fruits he ate. The garden was a great hit with the crew.

Cdr Amber Comisso

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Cdr Amber Comisso is taking part in the documentary Our Time Has Come: Women Who Lead.

Spotlight shines on naval officer in Women Who Lead documentary

Commander (Cdr) Amber Comisso will be part of a new documentary focused on gender equity, “Our Time Has Come: Women Who Lead”, by Vancouver-based filmmaker Adrian Juric. Cdr Comisso has served over 23 years as a naval officer and recently completed a posting as Executive Officer of HMCS Winnipeg. This documentary celebrates women’s achievement, something that Cdr Comisso acknowledges through her leadership style.

HMCS Oriole

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HMCS Oriole, the RCN’s sail-training vessel.

HMCS Oriole: Still sailing at 100

Launched in June 1921, HMCS Oriole marked its centennial as the oldest ship in the RCN. Oriole was commissioned in 1954 as part of the RCN fleet. The ship’s primary role today is as a training vessel and for public outreach. Originally built for George Gooderham of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club, Oriole is a Bermuda-rigged sail training ketch.

PO1 Hart (left) and Lt(N) Dyck (right)

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PO1 Hart (left) and Lt(N) Dyck (right) are part of the Naval Tactical Operations Group aboard HMCS Calgary.

NTOG members onboard HMCS Calgary make record-breaking heroin bust

As part of CTF-150 out of Bahrain, HMCS Calgary patrols waters in the Middle East to search out suspected terrorists and criminals who try to traffic drugs to fund their activities. Recently, the NTOG boarding team, call sign Reef, embarked in HMCS Calgary, helped make the biggest heroin seizure in the history of Operation Artemis.

Lieutenant (Navy) (Lt(N)) Steve Dyck, Petty Officer 1st Class Ryan Hart and Reef played a big part in the ship’s success, as they were the ones who searched for and seized the drugs as part of the naval boarding party.

S2 Yunus Kurt and S3 Ahmad Bitar

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S2 Yunus Kurt and S3 Ahmad Bitar both observed Ramadan at sea while on deployment with HMCS Halifax. The two sailors received an accommodation to grow their facial hair just for Ramadan.

Muslim sailors observed a month of fasting while on deployment with HMCS Halifax

Muslims around the world fasted during daylight hours for the month of Ramadan. For Sailor 2nd Class (S2) Yunus Kurt, along with Sailor 3rd Class (S3) Ahmad Bitar, both Naval Communicators who recently deployed with HMCS Halifax, this was an unusual Ramadan because of the pandemic and their deployment at sea. With other Muslim sailors aboard HMCS Halifax, they celebrated the end of Ramadan, the festival of Eid al-Fitr, on May 12.

Master Sailor Jefren Liu

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Master Sailor Jefren Liu, a Naval Combat Information Operator, worked to implement the new data-sharing systems during TGEX 21-01.

New data-sharing systems – leading naval communications into the future

The RCN’s Pacific Fleet introduced two new data-sharing systems that significantly improve its strategic and joint capabilities.

These upgrades are being implemented on Kingston-class Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels and the rest of the fleet to share sensor information with each other instantaneously and around the globe.

This new system means tactical data is shared instantly via satellite technology to all other assets on the network.

SPOTLIGHT ON SAILORS

Lt(N) Joe Cheng

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Lt(N) Joe Cheng

Meet Lt(N) Joe Cheng. He serves aboard HMCS Harry DeWolf as a Naval Warfare Officer. He joined the Navy when he was 42 years old with plenty of nautical experience as an officer from Holland America Line cruise ships.

Lt(N) Blake Zazula

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Lt(N) Blake Zazula

Meet Lt (N) Blake Zazula. He was the Executive Officer aboard HMCS Saskatoon, which recently completed Op Caribbe. During one of his deployments, he brought his road bike to tour around Chile.

LCdr Sarah Stainton

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LCdr Sarah Stainton

Meet LCdr Sarah Stainton. As a naval reservist, she is second-in-command of HMCS York in Toronto. In her civilian life, LCdr Stainton is an elementary school teacher with the Peel District School Board.

GETTING SOCIAL

VIDEOS OF THE MONTH

PHOTOS OF THE MONTH

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS

Navy Bike Ride - Register now!

Navy Bike Ride Virtual Harry DeWolf Challenge

The fifth annual Navy Bike Ride (NBR) launched just over a month ago, and we are incredibly proud of each and every one of our riders helping us to reach our goal.

Haven’t signed up yet? You’re in luck! Registration is ongoing for this FREE virtual event on now until August 29. Visit our website to register NOW! With over $17,000 in prizes to be won throughout the summer, you won’t want to miss out on your opportunity to win!

Have you heard? As a Regular or Reserve member, your unit can win prizes in the new “Masthead Challenge,” where RCN units (Regular and Reserve) create an NBR team and attempt to become the naval unit logging the most rides this summer. Cyclists do not need to ride all together, and are encouraged to respect physical distancing local requirements.

Visit navybikeride.ca for more information and to register for this exciting event.

Together we ride. Together we make waves.

2021 Canadian Naval Memorial Trust Essay Competition

Canadian Naval Review (CNR) is holding its annual essay competition again in 2021. There will be a $1,000 prize for the best essay, provided by the Canadian Naval Memorial Trust. The winning essay will be published in CNR. Other non-winning essays will also be considered for publication, subject to editorial review.

Essays submitted to the contest should relate to the following topics:

  • Canadian maritime security;
  • Canadian naval policy;
  • Canadian naval issues;
  • Canadian naval operations;
  • History/historical operations of the RCN;
  • Global maritime issues (such as piracy, smuggling, fishing, environment);
  • Canadian oceans policy and issues;
  • Arctic maritime issues;
  • Maritime transport and shipping.

If you have any questions about a particular topic, contact cnrcoord@icloud.com.

Contest Guidelines and Judging

  • Submissions for the 2021 CNR essay competition must be received at cnrcoord@icloud.com by September 30.
  • Submissions are not to exceed 3,000 words (excluding references). Longer submissions will be penalized in the adjudication process.
  • Submissions cannot have been published elsewhere.
  • All submissions must be in electronic format and any accompanying photographs, images or other graphics and tables must also be included as separate files.

The essays will be assessed by a panel of judges on the basis of a number of criteria including readability, breadth, importance, accessibility and relevance. The decision of the judges is final. All authors will be notified of the judges’ decision within two months of the submission deadline.