Cadets earn sea legs in HMCS Calgary

Cadets earn sea legs in HMCS Calgary

Peter Fuerbringer, Regional Cadet Support Unit Pacific ~

Sea Cadets from Alberta and British Columbia took to the high seas aboard HMCS Calgary for a five-day experience off the southern shores of Vancouver Island.

The cadets, many of whom hail from HMCS Calgary’s namesake city, earned the experience to become part of the crew thanks to a unique aspect of the Cadet Program that opens up opportunities to interact with active members of the Canadian Armed Forces.

Cadets were able to join the ship in Victoria and take part in training exercises such as man overboard, fire suppression, navigation, officer of the watch, high speed maneuvers and onboard landings with the Royal Canadian Navy’s new Cyclone helicopter.

“I thought it was super cool to become part of the crew for a little bit and see the ship in action,” said Cadet Tyler Knowless from Sidney, B.C. “There is so much teamwork that happens during the drills, and it was great to be treated like part of the team by so many people we look up to.”

According to the ship’s Commanding Officer, Commander Blair Saltel, having cadets on board has been a top priority since he took command in 2016.

“HMC ships are busy when we put to sea, but some missions allow for opportunities to show the Canadian public what the RCN does and what life at sea in a warship is like, while allowing my sailors to develop their own skills.”

In 2018, his team and the cadet organization managed to bring 89 cadets to sea over a series of five-day periods.

“I hope Calgary’s program will allow for something similar, starting with this past sail. Working with the cadet organization showed me how impressive and solution-focused they are to get great kids to experience great things.”

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