Your Navy Today - Volume 3 Issue 9

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HMCS Winnipeg


Members of HMCS Winnipeg stand at ease during the ship’s departure from Sasebo, Japan, during Op NEON on October 8, 2020.

Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Winnipeg was deployed on Op NEON as Canada’s contribution to a coordinated multinational effort to support United Nations Security Council sanctions imposed on North Korea.

Winnipeg performed surveillance operations to identify suspected evasion activities, in particular ship-to-ship transfers of fuel and other commodities currently banned under the sanctions. This work was conducted alongside other countries including Australia, France, Japan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States.

HMCS Winnipeg represented Canada at Exercise KEEN SWORD 21, a Japanese Self-Defense Force and United States-led engagement which took place from October 26 to November 5. The engagement included sea, ground and air assets, and aimed to enhance combat readiness and interoperability, while strengthening relationships between allies.

Winnipeg’s participation was an opportunity for the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) to work with our allies and partners in support of the rules-based international order.

HMCS Winnipeg resumed its Op PROJECTION Asia-Pacific mission on November 6 following the conclusion of the engagement and will be in the Asia-Pacific region until December 2020.

HMCS Toronto’s Cyclone helicopter


Small high-speed vessels approach HMCS Ville de Québec during a SWARMEX as part of Exercise JOINT WARRIOR 20-2.

HMC Ships Ville de Québec, Halifax and Naval Replenishment Unit (NRU) Asterix joined HMCS Toronto and Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1) to participate in JOINT WARRIOR 20-2 off the coast of Scotland from October 4 to October 15. The exercise was a UK-led cooperative deployment that takes place in the spring and autumn of each year.

The deployment was hosted by the Royal Navy with participants from various Western European countries, as well as Canada and the United States. Serials conducted over the two weeks included practice gunnery exercises, simulated attack/defence scenarios, tactical replenishments at sea, and surface combat scenarios.

After JOINT WARRIOR 20-2 concluded, HMC Ships Ville de Québec and Halifax and NRU Asterix began their transit back to Halifax. HMCS Toronto returned to duty on Op REASSURANCE to continue maritime assurance and deterrence patrols in the Baltic region.

HMCS Harry DeWolf


HMCS Harry DeWolf departs Halifax on October 13, 2020.

HMCS Harry DeWolf departed Halifax on October 13 to begin its Basic Single Ship Readiness Training that will take place over the upcoming months.

This training will see Harry DeWolf test its systems and procedures as it gradually builds the operational capability and resiliency required for operations beginning with the first Arctic deployment of the class in the summer of 2021.

HMCS Summerside


HMCS Summerside departs Halifax on October 26, 2020.

HMCS Summerside departed Halifax on October 26, to participate in Operation CARIBBE, Canada’s contribution to the U.S.-led Campaign MARTILLO. The campaign is a multinational effort against illicit trafficking by transnational organized crime in the Caribbean Sea and the eastern Pacific Ocean. This is the 14th year that the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) will have conducted Op CARIBBE.

Summerside will be operating in the Caribbean Basin in concert with the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and the United States Navy. HMCS Summerside will be responsible for finding and tracking vessels of interest to enable USCG law enforcement teams to approach and intercept.

Since 2006, the RCN and the Royal Canadian Air Force have been credited with supporting the seizure or disruption of more than 67 metric tonnes of cocaine and more than five metric tonnes of marijuana in the regions.


Throughout 2020 the Royal Canadian Navy will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of the Battle of the Atlantic.

Survivors of a torpedoed merchant ship

Gerald M. Moses, Library and Archives

Survivors of a torpedoed merchant ship aboard HMCS Arvida at St. John’s, Nfld., September 1942.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the conclusion of the Battle of the Atlantic, the longest battle of the Second World War. Instrumental to the war effort over the course of this six-year battle was Canada’s Merchant Navy.

In 1939 when the conflict began, Canada had 38 merchant ships at its disposal with a total of only 290,000 tonnes of cargo capacity. The Canadian Government knew that the limited number of ships in operation would be unable to meet the intense demand of Great Britain if they were to succeed. Therefore, plans to expand the Merchant Navy were made and the Canadian people rose to meet this exceptional task.

SS Caribou Memorial


People gather on October 14 of every year at the SS Caribou Memorial in Port-aux-Basques, Nfld., to commemorate those lost in the Caribou sinking.

Between 1942 and late 1944, 16 German U-boats fired more than 50 torpedoes in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, while stalking Canadian vessels. In what came to be known as the Battle of the St. Lawrence, the U-boats sunk 24 ships, including three RCN warships: HMC Ships Raccoon and Shawinigan, which lost all hands, and HMCS Charlottetown, which lost 10 sailors.

The greatest loss of life, however, occurred 78 years ago on October 14, 1942, when the Newfoundland-to-Nova Scotia ferry SS Caribou was sunk by U-69, under the command of Kapitän-Leutnant Ulrich Gräf.

SS Caribou left Sydney, N.S., at approximately 9:30 p.m. on October 13, 1942. On board were 73 civilians, including 11 children, as well as 118 military personnel and a crew of 46.

Just before departure, Caribou’s master, Captain Benjamin Tavenor, ordered all passengers on deck to familiarize themselves with the lifeboat stations. Both he and his crew knew about the danger of a U-boat attack – on the previous trip Caribou’s escort had attacked a contact, but without success.

Canadian Surface Combatant


A digital rendering of the new Canadian Surface Combatant.

With the release of Canada’s defence policy Strong, Secure, Engaged in 2017, the Government of Canada signaled its commitment to renewing the RCN fleet.

As part of an effort to deliver a Blue Water Navy built around the ability to sustain two naval task groups of up to four combatants and a Joint Support Ship, supplemented when warranted by a submarine and maritime air assets, the government committed to the acquisition of 15 Canadian Surface Combatants (CSC).

The effort to procure these vessels represents the centrepiece of the National Shipbuilding Strategy – the largest procurement in Canadian history – and certainly one of its most complex, spanning over three decades

Lockheed Martin Canada, the successful bidder in a lengthy but fair, open and transparent bid process, proposed a CSC concept design based on the UK’s Type-26 Global Combat Ship, currently under construction. With this selection, Canada joins the UK and Australia, which are leveraging the Type-26 Global Combat Ship design into their future fleets.

The CSC is Canada’s next generation warship, which will eventually replace both the recently retired Iroquois class and today’s modernized Halifax class. Capabilities from both classes will be modernized and future-proofed to ensure not only that systems stay relevant for years to come, but more importantly that tomorrow’s sailors have the equipment they will need when sent into harm’s way. It forms part of a broad vision of defence capabilities that will serve Canada’s defence interests well into the latter half of the century.

##MCECOPY##Bonnie Henry


While a member of the Royal Canadian Naval Reserve, Bonnie Henry conducted surface supplied diving at Fleet Diving Unit Pacific using a “hard hat” outfitted with a communications unit and a breathing hose.

Dr. Bonnie Henry is a prime example of the outstanding achievements of Canadian women who are celebrated during Women’s History Month in October.

A former naval officer, Dr. Henry is British Columbia’s Provincial Health Officer, the first woman to hold that position.

Her journey to becoming a household name in B.C. and across Canada began decades ago as the child of a military family.

“I was born in Fredericton as my father was posted to nearby Canadian Forces Base Gagetown, but I consider Charlottetown my hometown,” she says.

Her father was a major with the Lord Strathcona’s Horse regiment in the Canadian Army. “We moved around a lot.”

Dr. Henry grew up in towns across Canada and abroad including Charlottetown, Calgary, and Saint John, N.B., as well as The Netherlands.

But it was summer employment with the Naval Reserve as what was then known as a Naval Control of Shipping Officer, that would lead her to B.C. and eventually to becoming the Provincial Health Officer, managing the province’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shipmates, respect for the dignity and worth of each individual and the equality of all people are profound principles that are critical requirements for the operational effectiveness of the RCN, CAF and Department of National Defence (DND). These principles are enshrined in Canadian Law and are a fundamental part of what constitutes our modern Canadian society.

With the release of our Naval Order on Hateful Conduct, our intent, in lock-step with the CAF, our fellow services, and DND’s civilian leadership, is to drive racism, discrimination and hateful conduct from our ranks and ensure that everyone on our team, civilian and military, has the opportunity to reach their full potential in a diverse, inclusive, and respectful environment.

This order forms part of a broader and continuing effort across the CAF and DND to deter and address hateful conduct, as we recognize that our efforts need to be persistent and enduring.

We are dedicated to being a modern and forward-looking organization where all people are welcomed, feel safe in their workplace, and are judged solely on their competence and contribution to Canada’s defence goals. Discrimination, racism and hateful conduct are contrary to Canadian military ethos, and the RCN will not tolerate it in any form. Hateful conduct erodes cohesion and esprit de corps, a necessity for our Navy, and diminishes our authority as a force for good at home and abroad.

Through deck-plate leadership, I expect everyone in our institution to fully hoist this aboard. We must listen; we must learn; and we must act.

We need to listen to those who have faced discrimination, and provide them with the support and resources they need. We need to understand the problem of racism, discrimination and misogyny within our ranks, and learn how to combat it. And we all need to be ready to act - to show leadership, demonstrate what right looks like and step-in if we see hateful conduct being committed, whether it be blatantly obvious or something seemingly small.

All members of the RCN are to follow the directions laid out in this order, as we work together to be better and to eliminate discrimination, racism and hateful conduct from our ranks.

Vice-Admiral Art McDonald
Commander RCN

Lt(N) Stephanie Bengle


Lt(N) Stephanie Bengle (right) with one of her mentors, Commodore Josée Kurtz, on board HMCS Halifax while deployed on Op REASSURANCE.

Meet Lieutenant (Navy) Stephanie Bengle. She shares the impact that celebrating the accomplishments of women from the past and in the present can have on future generations.

LCdr Calley Gray


LCdr Calley Gray

Meet Lieutenant-Commander Calley Gray. She shares how the RCN allowed her to pursue her academic ambitions, and how she uses that elite training to manage the surface fleet program at the Fleet Maintenance Facility in Esquimalt, B.C.


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