Admiral reflects on his year in office

RAdm Truelove

After a year in the driver’s seat at Maritime Forces Pacific, RAdm Bill Truelove updates the Formation and reflects on the previous year.

With one year at the helm of Maritime Forces Pacific (MARPAC)/Joint Task Force Pacific (JTFP), RAdm Bill Truelove has frequently turned heads with his “on again off again” beard.

But the growth and clip of his chin hairs is a testament to how active his year has been – both on ship and on land.

“So much has happened this past year and my role has been busy,” he says. “My job as Admiral comes with many challenges and it is the reality that there are not enough hours in a day. I think every Admiral who has sat in this chair wants to do more. I get many requests to be in places and I hate saying no.”

From his corner office window that overlooks Esquimalt Harbour, he’s watched many warships pack up and deploy on sea trials, operations and deployments – from the Rim of the Pacific Exercise, to Trident Fury, to HMCS Regina’s deployment, to the Arabian Sea. On some of these exercises and operations he has sailed, and others he has monitored from his second story office in D100.

During his watch, HMCS Victoria has seen great success at sea, including “her impressive and strategically important” MK48 Torpedo firing during RIMPAC. Pacific Fleet ships also participated in Ex Trident Fury this spring, and JOINTEX, a large scale joint exercise that included participants from RCAF, Canadian Army, SOF and friends from the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard.  

“The ships also completed a very successful visit to Vancouver where they had the opportunity to showcase the RCN to the citizens of that important Canadian economic hub and Pacific port city,” says the Admiral.

Also on his list of Formation successes over the past year are the great work done in HMC Ships Calgary, Winnipeg and Vancouver as they move through the Halifax Class Modernization, as well as the terrific effort to bring Protecteur out of refit and prepare her to return to operations in the Pacific.  

“Although Winnipeg had a bit of a setback, I was proud to see the way the Formation came together quickly to get things back on track. We just watched Protecteur sail after her refit and I’d like to say well done to the Fleet Maintenance Facility for their support in getting all the ships moving forward.”

On land, he recently joined the Associate Minister of National Defence and Commander RCN in opening the new fire hall, and entertained some very prominent dignitaries that included The Duke of York, the Commander of the Chilean Navy, and the British First Sea Lord.

But nothing stays still on the water, or on land. The Admiral anticipates his next 12 months will prove just as fruitful and busy as the last.

“Over the next year we will continue to move forward with the HCM/FELEX programme and bring Chicoutimi back on line while sustaining Victoria. We will continue our internal efforts on Business Process Renewal, in support of the Defence Renewal Team, and will be making sure we are using precious taxpayers dollars in the best way possible. We will also continue to see a great deal of construction across the Formation, and this is good as it is about situating the Formation for the future and the arrival of the new fleet.”

Plus he adds, “Algonquin and Protecteur will deploy on WESTPLOY shortly and we are not far from RIMPAC 2014.”

The operational schedule of his naval assets is not the only thing changing; his command team will switch out this summer. Among the many command changes, Capt(N) Luc Cassivi replaced Capt(N) Auchterlonie as Base Commander, and the newly promoted Cmdre Auchterlonie has replaced Cmdre Bishop as Commander Canadian Fleet Pacific.

“I am blessed with a great group of leaders who support me everyday with a sense of camaraderie and shared commitment that allows us to tackle issues in a calm, but deliberate manner. I am very proud to work with them,” says the Admiral.

With the summer sun starting to warm the waters, RAdm Truelove hopes all members of the Formation team have an opportunity to take some time off to relax and rejuvenate with their families.

“One aspect we need to continue to focus on is the welfare of the team as it’s important to find the balance as we move through the next set of challenges,” he says. “I want to thank the entire Formation for their incredible work and support throughout the last year.  We are blessed with an amazing team here in MARPAC, all supported by great families.  I am so proud of them all and grateful for all that they do.”

-Shelley Lipke, Staff Writer

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