The crews of both Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships (HMCS) Nanaimo and Whitehorse received the Operational Service Medal today for their recent participation in Operation CARIBBE, the Canadian Armed Forces’ continued commitment to combat illicit trafficking in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific.
During a ceremony held at CFB Esquimalt, more than 60 sailors were presented the medals by Commodore Bob Auchterlonie, Commander Canadian Fleet Pacific, in recognition of their service and dedication while on Operation CARIBBE.
“The Royal Canadian Navy has contributed to Operation CARIBBE since 2006, defending against threats and security challenges to North America. The Operational Service Medals awarded today showcase the contributions of the Navy to keep illegal drugs off of our streets,” said Commodore Bob Auchterlonie, Commander Canadian Fleet Pacific.
Added Lieutenant-Commander Jeffrey Hopkins, Commanding Officer of HMCS Nanaimo: “Both ship’s companies have earned this medal for their outstanding contributions to Operation CARIBBE. The mission was very successful, and I was extremely impressed by the professionalism, dedication, and flexibility demonstrated by both crews. Working alongside partner organizations in joint international law enforcement operations was a valuable experience for all involved, and it will lead to enhanced maritime safety and security measures.”
HMCS Nanaimo and HMCS Whitehorse are Kingston-class Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels (MCDVs), with a primary mission of coastal surveillance and patrol including general naval operations and exercises, search and rescue, law enforcement, resource protection and fisheries patrols. MCDVs are crewed primarily by Naval Reservists from the 24 Naval Reserve Divisions across Canada.
This deployment marks another achievement for the Royal Canadian Navy’s Pacific fleet in the past year, including other operational deployments such as Operation ARTEMIS, and Task Group, Mine Countermeasure, and Search and Rescue Exercises.
Press Release, June 10, 2014; Image: Wikimedia