Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the name of the first of the Royal Canadian Navy’s (RCN) Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS) yesterday in Hamilton, Ontario.
Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Harry DeWolf is named in honour of a wartime Canadian naval hero. HMCS Harry DeWolf is the first of the AOPS designed to better enable the RCN to exercise sovereignty in Canadian waters, including in the Arctic.
The AOPS will be known as the Harry DeWolf Class, with HMCS Harry DeWolf as the lead ship. Subsequent ships in the class will be named to honour other prominent Canadian naval heroes who served their country with the highest distinction. This is the first time in its 104-year history that the RCN is naming a class of ships after a prominent Canadian naval figure.
A native of Bedford, Nova Scotia, Vice-Admiral Harry DeWolf (RCN) was decorated for outstanding service throughout his naval career, which included wartime command of HMCS St. Laurent from 1939-40, and later, his 1943-44 command of HMCS Haida, known as the “Fightingest Ship in the RCN.” Yesterday’s announcement was made at HMCS Haida, which now serves as a museum ship on the Hamilton waterfront.
Canada defends more coastline than any other country, as it is bounded by three oceans. The AOPS will conduct sovereignty and surveillance operations in Canadian waters on all three coasts, including in the Arctic. The AOPS will also be used to support other units of the Canadian Armed Forces in the conduct of maritime-related operations and to support other government departments in carrying out their mandates, as required.
The AOPS will be built by Irving Shipbuilding Inc. in Halifax, Nova Scotia.