Your Navy Today - March 2021

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The Queen and Prince Philip during the RCN’s centennial celebrations in 2010.


The Queen and Prince Philip during the RCN’s centennial celebrations in 2010.

Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh and Honourary Admiral of the RCN, passes

The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) lost one of its own on April 9, 2021. Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, passed peacefully at Windsor Castle at the age of 99. The longest-serving royal consort in British history, Prince Philip was an Honourary Admiral of the RCN since 2011, and the Admiral of the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets since 1953.

A Second World War veteran, Prince Philip served in His Majesty’s Ship (HMS) Valiant and was awarded the Greek War Cross of Valour. In July 1942, he was promoted lieutenant and appointed first lieutenant (second in command) of the destroyer HMS Wallace, which took part in the Allied landings in Sicily. In 1952, His Royal Highness was promoted to the rank of commander, but his naval career came to an end upon the death of his father-in-law, King George VI, and The Queen's subsequent accession to the Throne.

Since the formation of Canada’s Navy in 1910, the Royal Family has had strong ties with the oldest of the three services of the Canadian Armed Forces.


Members of HMCS Halifax’s Naval Boarding Party “detain” a suspect aboard NATO ally FGS Spessart


Members of HMCS Halifax’s Naval Boarding Party “detain” a suspect aboard NATO ally FGS Spessart, a German tanker, during a Naval Boarding Party exercise on March 3.

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 Operation REASSURANCE.

This past month, the crew continued its force generation by conducting a PASSEX with partner NATO ships, flag hoist competitions, flashing light exercises, replenishment at sea and officer of the watch manoeuvres.

Halifax’s embarked CH-148 Cyclone helicopter, call-sign Kingfisher, also conducted cross-deck operations with NATO partners.

Additionally, a team from HMCS Halifax has been busy running to meet a 4,200 km goal, a distance equalling the transit from Nova Scotia to the Northern Baltic Sea, in an effort to raise $10,000 for charity. The team was so successful in meeting its initial goal that members have decided to double it and have begun running to make the transit back to Nova Scotia. Bravo Zulu!

A member of the Naval Tactical Operations Group aboard HMCS Calgary stands lookout


A member of the Naval Tactical Operations Group aboard HMCS Calgary stands lookout as the ship departs Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Honolulu, Hawaii on March 7, before the start of Operation ARTEMIS and Operation PROJECTION Asia-Pacific.

HMCS Calgary transits the Pacific Ocean

After a brief stop over at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickham in Honolulu, Hawaii, HMCS Calgary and crew continued their transit across the Pacific Ocean as part of Operation PROJECTION Asia-Pacific.

Throughtout the transit the crew stayed sharp and ready by simulating emergencies from damage control to warfare scenarios.

Calgary then made a port call in Guam on March 18, 2021, to restock and refuel under strict social distancing practices to maintain their COVID-free bubble before transiting onward to Brunei and then finally arriving in Vietnam on March 31.

U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment members conduct a boarding exercise with HMC Ships Brandon and Saskatoon


U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment members conduct a boarding exercise with HMC Ships Brandon and Saskatoon in the Pacific Ocean on March 2.

HMC Ships Saskatoon and Brandon maintain maritime security on Op CARIBBE as HMCS Moncton returns home

HMC Ships Saskatoon and Brandon are patrolling the Eastern Pacific Ocean while contributing to multinational counter-narcotics efforts under Operation CARIBBE.

The ships are conducting inspections of vessels of interest in partnership with their embarked U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachments to detect and deter illicit trafficking at sea and to prevent illegal substances from reaching North America.

HMCS Moncton arrived home in Halifax on March 9 after successfully completing its six-week rotation on Operation CARIBBE patrolling the Caribbean Sea.

Crew of HMS Montrose with seized illicit narcotics


Crew of HMS Montrose with seized illicit narcotics on March 12.

CTF 150 makes another large seizure under the command of the RCN

Her Majesty’s Ship (HMS) Montrose made its third seizure in less than five weeks on March 12 when it intercepted over 6,100 lbs of hashish and 110 lbs of heroin in the Arabian Sea.

This is the latest in a number of successful interdictions Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 has celebrated since Commodore (Cmdre) Dan Charlebois of the RCN assumed command on January 27.

“HMS Montrose displayed the spirit and dedication to mission that every commander dreams of in a supporting unit,” said Cmdre Charlebois.

“They came ready for operations, achieved two immediate successes at sea in the form of substantial drug seizures, and fittingly, achieved a final seizure of illicit narcotics on their final day in support of CTF 150 before a very well-deserved rest and maintenance period.”


Lt Andrew Collier


Lt Andrew Collier

RCN navigator ensures success of dangerous mission in Korea

Darkness had fallen over the mine-infested waters of the Taedong River in Korea. 

His Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Cayuga cautiously inched its way forward, leading five other destroyers, including HMC Ships Athabaskan and Sioux.

It was December 5, 1950, and the warships had been sent to assist in the evacuation of troops from Chinnampo, the port of Pyongyang, where they were in danger from advancing enemy soldiers.

It was a hazardous undertaking. The channel was narrow and shallow, and the North Koreans had seeded it with mines. Two ships ran aground and were forced to turn back for repairs. The remaining four destroyers, under the lead of Cayuga, proceeded slowly and cautiously up the channel in a nerve-wracking journey.

Lieutenant (Lt) Andrew Collier, a member of the RCN and Cayuga’s navigation officer, was responsible for ensuring the safe passage of the ship.

Lt Collier made 132 fixes that night, most of them by radar, showing the position of the ship in relation to the channel marker buoys and nearby landmarks, and the accuracy of his navigation undoubtedly played a large part in ensuring the success of the entire operation.

He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his work that night.


An artist’s rendering of the definition design for the Joint Support Ship


An artist’s rendering of the definition design for the Joint Support Ship.

Canadianization of the Joint Support Ship – from mature design to a unique Canadian solution

The Joint Support Ship (JSS) is one of the three classes of ships procured for the RCN under the National Shipbuilding Strategy.

An adapted version of the German Navy’s Berlin-class auxiliary ship, the new JSS will replace Canada’s now-decommissioned supply ships Protecteur and Preserver. Germany began construction of its fleet of auxiliary ships in the early 2000s, with its third and last ship commissioned into service in 2013.

“It’s actually been advantageous for Canada to buy into the Berlin class at this stage, now that Germany has three in the water,” says Rear-Admiral Casper Donovan, Director General Future Ship Capability for the RCN.

“We are able to capitalize on many of the lessons learned during previous iterations of the design, and apply those lessons to our Canadian version – the JSS. In other words, even though we are purchasing a mature design, there are necessary modifications required for JSS to meet Canada’s specific environment, needs and standards.”

LCdr Nadia Shields (left), Commanding Officer of HMCS Saskatoon, and LCdr Maude Ouelette-Savard (right), Commanding Officer of HMCS Brandon


LCdr Nadia Shields (left), Commanding Officer of HMCS Saskatoon, and LCdr Maude Ouelette-Savard (right), Commanding Officer of HMCS Brandon, during Operation CARIBBE.

Two women command ships on Operation CARIBBE

Two Kingston-class naval warships. Twenty-five thousand nautical miles along coastlines stretching from Canada to South America patrolled yearly. Thousands of kilograms of illicit drugs seized since 2006. This is Operation CARIBBE.

This year marks an historic occasion. The RCN ships deployed from the Pacific coast, HMC Ships Brandon and Saskatoon, are commanded by women captains. It’s a first since the mission started.

“I’m very proud to be representing Canada and the RCN on this deployment,” said Lieutenant-Commander Maude Ouellet-Savard, the Commanding Officer of HMCS Brandon.

“Our dedicated sailors are some of the finest in the fleet. They amaze me every day with their professionalism, work ethic and motivation to see mission success.”

A/SLt Kevin Vuong speaks with Her Majesty the Queen


A/SLt Kevin Vuong speaks with Her Majesty the Queen on June 29, 2017, at Buckingham Palace, during the awards ceremony where he was named Her Majesty the Queen’s Young Leader for Canada and appointed to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Medallists.

Acting Sub-Lieutenant Kevin Vuong: Canada’s NATO 2030 Young Leader

Acting Sub-Lieutenant (A/SLt) Kevin Vuong is a 31-year-old naval reservist from Toronto, where he has served as a Public Affairs Officer with HMCS York for over five years.

A/SLt Vuong was recently appointed by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg as Canada’s NATO 2030 Young Leader, a group of young adults from around the globe brought together to provide insight for NATO’s 2030 program – a forward-looking reflection process to strengthen NATO’s political dimension into the coming decades.

Sailor 1st Class (S1) Cory Taylor (right), helps S1 John Kester remove his gear at the conclusion of a diving operation at the Port of Reykjavik, Iceland.


Sailor 1st Class (S1) Cory Taylor (right), helps S1 John Kester remove his gear at the conclusion of a diving operation at the Port of Reykjavik, Iceland, during Operation REASSURANCE in July 2020.

RCN divers ready for Ukraine training mission

A team of clearance divers is heading to Ukraine for a month to share their expertise in diving.

Two divers from each coast’s dive unit, led by Lieutenant (Navy) (Lt(N)) Kevin Darling, travelled late last month to the Black Sea port of Odessa to deliver a ships’ dive course training program to the Diving School of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Lt(N) Darling says RCN divers were selected for the job because they have the knowledge and expertise to help develop and mentor partner nations.

“The RCN is constantly engaged in instruction and the force generation training of all Canadian divers, and this is a great opportunity to collaborate with our Ukrainian partners and share our experience and knowledge in diving. It’s important for the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) to provide this training to other NATO partners and help bolster their capabilities and strengthen international partnerships,” he says.


S1 Jennifer Ringor


S1 Jennifer Ringor

Meet Sailor 1st Class Jennifer Ringor. She joined the RCN to make her country and family proud, and she wanted to protect the country her family and loved ones call home.

CPO1 Line Laurendeau


CPO1 Line Laurendeau

Meet Chief Petty Officer 1st Class Line Laurendeau. She was appointed to the Order of Military Merit in 2014 and is currently employed at CFB Esquimalt, B.C., as the Base Administration Branch Chief.

MS Remi Ducharme


MS Remi Ducharme

Meet Master Sailor Remi Ducharme. He currently serves on board HMCS Kingston and has been named the RCN’s 2020 Exceptional Sailor and Centennial Cup recipient.





Navy Bike Ride Virtual Harry DeWolf Challenge

Spring has sprung! The days are longer and the sun is brighter. With warmer temperatures ahead, it’s time to start thinking about the Navy Bike Ride!

Registration is now open for our free virtual event that is set to take place from June 12 through August 29. Sign up now and help us chart the course for HMCS Harry DeWolf and its inaugural deployment as the ship sails through the Canadian Arctic and North American waters.

Together we ride. Together we make waves.

2021 Canadian Naval Memorial Trust Essay Competition

Canadian Naval Review (CNR) will be holding its annual essay competition again in 2021. There will be a prize of $1,000 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

Contest Guidelines and Judging

  • Submissions for the 2021 CNR essay competition must be received at by Wednesday, 30 September 2021.
  • 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 a separate file.

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.