As ships of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) arrive alongside after a demanding two week Task Group Exercise (TGEX) that involved members of the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2) they can be assured their performance demonstrated that the RCN remains a ready response for Canada, at home or abroad.
From numerous manoeuvering serials, a steady stream of helicopter operations, challenging weaponry shoots, and other demanding evolutions there was never a dull moment for the crews of Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships (HMCS) Athabaskan, Fredericton, Halifax, Glace Bay and Shawinigan. Faced with such a taxing schedule the ships’ companies rose to the occasion, demonstrating high levels of competency and professionalism.
“The whole ship came together during these evolutions and strived to achieve the best possible results. For our gunnery serials everyone involved, from the technicians to the operators performed to a high standard, ensuring we were able to achieve our goals. Our crew lived up to the ship’s motto showing that on Athabaskan: We Fight as One,” commented the Above Water Warfare Officer, Lieutenant (Navy) Warren Graham.
Aside from working together with allied partners in demanding serials several sailors from various ships, including both HMCS Athabaskan and Halifax, were afforded the opportunity to participate in a day long exchange. While taking part in the exchange sailors were able to learn about the history of the vessel, speak with their counterparts on the similarities and differences in their work, and see what life is like aboard another vessel. For junior personnel it proved to be a valuable experience, both professionally and personally.
“They were very welcoming hosts.” said Sub-Lieutenant Matthew Chaisson, a Bridge Watch Keeper aboard HMCS Athabaskan who visited FGS Neidersachsen, “We received a tour of the entire ship and spoke with our counterparts about their roles onboard. For me it put a face to the ship; now it’s not just some vessel we’re sailing around with, now I have friends aboard.”
While the sailors wind down for a much deserved pause alongside they have already commenced preparations for a United States Navy (USN) led exercise that includes Canadian, NATO and USN ships that begins next week.