Your Navy Today - Volume 2 Issue 12

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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.

Commodore Josée Kurtz and NATO staff


Commodore Josée Kurtz transfers command of Standing NATO Maritime Group Two to Rear Admiral Paolo Fantoni of the Italian Marina Militare during a Change of Command Ceremony held at the Taranto Naval Base on December 16, 2019.

Commodore (Cmdre) Josée Kurtz became the first woman to command a Standing NATO Maritime Group in NATO history, on June 15 of this year. On December 16 she completed her historic rotation as Commander of Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2), and transferred command to Rear Admiral Paolo Fantoni of the Italian Marina Militare.

“I am deeply honoured to have had the opportunity to command Standing NATO Maritime Group Two. Working with our international staff, and commanding ships from Albania, Bulgaria, Canada, Germany, Greece, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom has been an absolute privilege,” says Cmdre Kurtz.

“The more you work with NATO the more you understand that its biggest strength is its diversity - from sailors, to ships, to nations. Having had the opportunity to see that diversity up close, and to harness it on operation every day, has been truly inspiring.”

Over a six-month period, Cmdre Kurtz had 1,355 NATO personnel under her command at any one time and oversaw SNMG2’s participation in six exercises, 23 port visits spanning eight countries, and 121 days at sea.

HMCS Halifax


HMCS Halifax, then Flagship of Standing NATO Maritime Group 2, approaches Spanish oilier ESPS Patiño for a replenishment-at-sea, while sailing in the Mediterranean Sea during Operation REASSURANCE on November 14, 2019.

Though Cmdre Kurtz has chopped out as Commander of SNMG2, Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Halifax remains deployed on Operation REASSURANCE as part of NATO assurance and deterrence measures in the Mediterranean region.

In the month of December, Halifax and crew conducted Maritime Security Awareness patrols in support of Operation SEA GUARDIAN and also conducted focused operations in the Syrian Channel.

Ship and crew will continue to support Op REASSURANCE through the holiday season.

HMCS Ottawa’s return


A young Canadian runs aboard to greet her father during HMCS Ottawa’s return on December 18.

HMCS Ottawa returned to Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt, B.C., on December 18 after four months in the Asia-Pacific region supporting Operations PROJECTION Asia-Pacific and NEON.

Over the course of the deployment Ottawa completed 46 days of patrol in support of Op NEON where it successfully intercepted 13 vessels of interest, and observed nine ship-to-ship transfers.

Ship and crew also conducted 89 days of operation patrols in support of Op PROJECTION, visited four countries, and participated in three multinational cooperative deployments with partners and allies.

HMCS Ottawa crewmembers


Back row: LS Kim, AB Park, SLt Hahm, SLt Yun. Front row: SLt Lee, LS Moon.

As HMCS Ottawa conducted its deployment on Operations NEON and PROJECTION, within its bulkheads a small community with personal ties to some of the many ports visited developed.

Six members of Ottawa’s crew – Sub-Lieutenants Hyunji (Ann) Lee, Jong Won Joseph Hahm, and Joo Whan (Kevin) Yun, Leading Seamen Guyeon Kim and Isaac Moon, and Able Seaman Thomas Park – were born in the Republic of Korea, many with close family still living in Pyeongtaek, Incheon and Busan which were three of the ports visited over the course of the deployment.

Combat Systems Engineering team


Members of the Combat Systems Engineering department load the CWIS as part of post-fire maintenance on October 28, 2019 onboard HMCS Ottawa while deployed on Operations PROJECTION and NEON.

Employing five sub-occupations of Weapon Engineering Technicians, the Combat Systems Engineering Department is integrated one way or another with every department of a ship.

Their scope of work includes SONARs and RADARs, Fire Control Systems, armaments and ammunition, internal and external communications systems and navigation systems. They even get to drive the ship!

Lt(N) Eric Dignard


Operations Room Officer Lt(N) Eric Dignard briefs the tactical situation to officers of the watch onboard HMCS Ottawa during Operation PROJECTION.

Located two decks below the bridge of HMCS Ottawa is a room with restricted access cloaked in mystery.

It’s called the operations room, and it never sleeps.

Working at its stations are dedicated sailors who maintain a 24/7 watch at sea ensuring the ship is ready to fight.

Ted Simmons


Ted Simmons was a renowned submarine chaser during the Battle of the Atlantic.

At the height of the Battle of the Atlantic in September 1941, a convoy of 64 merchant ships fell prey to a deadly attack by a German U-boat. In the following battle, some 18 ships were sunk.

After forcing the enemy vessel to surface, and ramming it to slow it down, a boarding party led by Ted Simmons was dispatched from His Majesty’s Ship Chambly.

Though the sub was taking on water, Simmons leaped into the boat in search of invaluable intelligence – code books and decoder machines.

On November 25, the Federal Court of Canada approved a settlement for the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and Department of National Defence (DND) sexual misconduct class action. This settlement affects people who experienced sexual assault, sexual harassment, or discrimination based on gender, sex, gender identity or sexual orientation.

To learn more about the approved settlement, visit the class action website at or call 1-888-626-2611.

PO1 Jeff Carter


PO1 Jeff Carter getting ready to dive off the coast of Boracay, an island in Malay, Aklan, Phillipines.

Meet Petty Officer First Class (PO1) Jeff Carter. Though he will be home for this holiday season, he shares what it has been like to be deployed abroad at this time of year.

PO1 Curtis Penton


PO1 Curtis Penton

Meet PO1 Curtis Penton. He shares what it is like to be deployed on HMCS Halifax over the holiday season, and what’s really important at this time of year.

Gear up for a great time at the fourth annual Navy Bike Ride! This family-friendly event is a great way to get active for a great cause that supports our military families. Proceeds and donations will go to Royal Canadian Naval Benevolent Fund and Support Our Troops.

Register now and choose between the Family Route (10K) or the Challenge Route through Ottawa and Gatineau. Early bird pricing now until January 31.

The Navy Bike Ride is a non-timed event on a closed course. Trailers, child seats and trailer cycles are all welcome; just remember that each rider needs a helmet.


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