2023 Year in Review

The Lookout Newspaper’s top news events of 2023


Peter Mallett
Staff Writer

(Left) Sergeant Martin Ouellet; Jennifer Bolster, Paramedic Practice Leader; Sergeant Sonya March; Warrant Officer Nicolas D’anjou; Warrant Officer Scott Rose; Chris Millar, Advance Care Paramedic; Jennifer Taronga, Honour Guard. Photo: Acting Sub-Lieutenant Ty Pellerin, Base PA


Canada’s Naval Reserves commence commemorative events marking 100 years of service to Canada.

HMCS Fredericton begins six-month deployment with NATO allies in the Mediterranean Sea to monitor Russian activity for Operation Reassurance.

Three members of 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron honored in BC Emergency Health Services awards ceremony for performing life-saving CPR for a co-worker.


Commander (Cdr) Meghan Coates assumes command of HMCS Vancouver, replacing Cdr Kevin Whiteside after relinquishing her command of HMCS Regina to Cdr Tyson Bergmann 24 hours earlier.

HMCS Edmonton deploys to waters off Central and South America to conduct drug interdiction in Operation Caribbe

Tritons men’s, women’s and senior hockey teams, men’s and women’s volleyball, men’s basketball and base squash and badminton athletes capture CAF Canada West Regional titles.

Volleyball teams from Cold Lake, Edmonton, Wainwright, Esquimalt, Comox and Winnipeg gather for a group photo at the Canada West Regional Volleyball Tournament at the Cold Lake Energy Center, Alberta on February 13 2023.

Photo credit: Corporal Alisa Strelley, Royal Canadian Air Force Imagery Technician


Over 1,000 military and DND civilian staff plot course for fun and good health at the 2023 MARPAC Health and Wellness Expo at the Naden Athletic Centre.

Wounded Warrior Run BC runners complete 600-km relay-style run while raising over $134,000 for ill and injured military, veterans and first responders.

Esquimalt’s National Defence Workplace Charitable Campaign wraps up, raising more than $119,000.

Returning runner Marissa Morrison, a firefighter/paramedic from Kitimat, leads the 2023 Wounded Warrior Run British Columbia out of Port Hardy. Photo: John’s Photography


Cdr Vincent Pellerin assumes command of HMCS Winnipeg replacing Cdr Annick Fortin in a Change of Command Ceremony.

Cmdr David Mazur presents S1 David Eaglestick of HMCS Ottawa with the MARPAC Sailor of the Year Award.

The Canadian Forces Sailing Association celebrates its first Opening Day in their new headquarters at Lang Cove.


(From Left) His Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) OTTAW, HMCS NANAIMO, Orca Patrol Crafts ORCA and MOOSE at Burrard Drydock Pier for fleet weekend in North Vancouver, British Columbia on 4 May 2023. Photo: Sergeant Malcolm Byers, MARPAC Imaging Services

HMCS Ottawa, HMCS Nanaimo and Orca-class training vessels Moose, Orca and Raven participate in Fleet Weekend at Burrard Drydock Pier in North Vancouver.

Naval Fleet School (Pacific) unveils its new helicopter crash rescue firefighting trainer in a ceremony at Damage Control Training Centre Galiano.

Former RCN Steward raises funds and awareness for Huntington’s Disease with Huntington Society of Canada, Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands Chapter.


Over 1,000 military personnel, six RCN ships participate in massive multinational military exercise on Vancouver Island, Trident Fury 23.

Runners compete in 2023 Navy Run while cyclists saddle up for the 2023 Navy Bike Ride.

Sail Training Vessels Goldcrest and Tuna participate in 15-day sailing race, Van Isle 360.


Left to right at the table, Captain (Navy) Kevin Whiteside, CD, Incoming Base Commander, Rear Admiral Christopher Robinson, CD, Reviewing Officer, and Jeff Hutchinson, Outgoing Base Commander, sign the transfer of command papers at the Change of Command Ceremony, Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt, On July 7th, 2023. Photo: Cpl Tristan Walach, MARPAC Imaging Services, Esquimalt

In a Change of Command Ceremony, Captain (Navy) Kevin Whiteside becomes CFB Esquimalt’s 25th Base Commander, replacing Capt(N) J. Jeffrey Hutchinson.

Ship-to-Shore Industrial Trade Show returns to the Base, featuring vendors, industrial marine and defence businesses and community organizations.

CAF members conduct training at Work Point prior to Operation Lentus, assisting in wildfire response efforts in B.C.’s interior region. 


HMCS Ottawa, Vancouver and MV Asterix set sail in a 122-day deployment for Operations Neon and Horizon.

CPO1 Susan Frisby replaces CPO1 Al Darragh as Base Chief in a Change of Appointment Ceremony.

Tritons men’s and women’s soccer and slo-pitch teams capture CAF Canada West Championship titles.


Lisa deWit, Defence Indigenous Advisory Group member and Formation Review Officer, performs during a Truth and Reconciliation gathering at Fleet Maintenance Facility (FMF) Cape Breton on Sept. 26. Photo: Peter Mallett/ Lookout Newspaper

Defence Indigenous Advisory Group recognizes the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in four separate events at the Base.

Defence on the Dock outreach event at Ogden Point gives the public a glimpse into life in the RCN and CAF.

National Defence Workplace Charity Campaign kicks-off with Pancake Breakfast at the Chief and Petty Officers’ Mess, raising approximately $1,600.

After an 8,000-km journey by cargo, the first of two German-made C4 Sail Training Vessels received by Naval Fleet School Pacific in Pigeon’s Cove.

Members of the Canadian Armed Forces and public attend Defence on the Dock at Ogden Point. Photo: Corporal Tristan Walach


Seaspan Shipyards hosts a keel-laying ceremony for Preserver, the second of two Protecteur-class Joint Support Ships.

Healthy Workplace Month launches with multiple events throughout October including Coffee with The Admiral, Harbour Cleanup, Stress Reduction and National Sports Day.

Cdr Jeremy Samson replaces Cdr Adriano Lozer as Commanding Officer of HMCS Calgary in a ceremony at Work Point’s Nixon Drill Hall.

Pooches of all shapes, sizes and social standing invade CFB Esquimalt for National Defence Workplace Charitable Campaign fundraiser Bring Your Dog to Work Day.


The Naden Band performs a series of concerts in B.C. and the state of Washington in their first-ever collaboration with the U.S. Army Field Band.

In one of the largest turnouts in recent memory, a crowd of thousands braves heavy rain to commemorate Remembrance Day on the grounds of the B.C. Legislature.

A capacity crowd fills Wurtele Arena and watches the MARPAC Selects defeat the Babcock Blues in a community-building event organized by Esquimalt MFRC.

Captain (Navy) Kevin Whiteside, CFB Esquimalt Base Commander, and Chief Petty Officer First Class Susan Frisby, Base Chief, stand with Commander (ret’d) Peter Chance, 102-year-old Royal Canadian Navy Second World War veteran, on the red carpet while Chance drops the puck during the Military Appreciation Night. Photo: Cpl Tristan Walach.


A giant holiday float and its 80,000 lights, created by Transport Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (TEME) staff brightens spirits at local holiday parades and festivals.

Family and friends reunited before the holidays with crew of HMCS Ottawa, Vancouver and MV Asterix following their 19-week deployment in Indo-Pacific Region. 


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