On behalf of General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff, Rear-Admiral Bill Truelove, Commander of Maritime Forces Pacific and Joint Task Force Pacific, presented the Canadian Forces Unit Commendation to United States Ship (USS) Michael Murphy and United States Navy Region Hawaii at a ceremony in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on May 26, 2015.
These commendations were awarded for exceptional support of the crew of HMCS Protecteur after the ship experienced a major engine room fire at sea on February 27, 2014, while returning to its home port of Esquimalt, B.C., after a two-month deployment in the mid-Pacific.
The courage and professionalism of the entire crew saved the ship, but the damage resulted in a loss of power and propulsion. HMCS Protecteur was stopped in the water in challenging weather conditions, 340 nautical miles northeast of Pearl Harbor and needed assistance.
Within 24 hours of the fire, USS Michael Murphy and Navy Region Hawaii came to the aid of HMCS Protecteur. USS Michael Murphy took Protecteur under tow and engaged in continuous supply runs, evacuations, medical and support operations to ensure the vessel’s safety. Navy Region Hawaii coordinated U.S. naval assets, strategic airlifts and fleet maintenance activities, which ensured the successful return of HMCS Protecteur to Pearl Harbor.
Upon arrival at Pearl Harbor, United States Navy (USN) assistance continued with medical, logistical, administrative and technical support, as well as hot meals and temporary accommodations for Canadian sailors. The USN’s continued support enabled HMCS Protecteur to return to Canada.
The Canadian Forces Unit Commendation is a group award created to recognize distinguished service by a military unit. Created by the Chief of the Defence Staff in 1980, the commendation is awarded to any formation, unit or sub-unit of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), or to any similar organization of a foreign armed force working with or in conjunction with the CAF, that has performed a deed or activity considered beyond the demand of normal duty.
Image: Canadian Navy