Command Team Conference steers Naval Reserve towards the future

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Senior Naval Reserve leadership attend an interactive workshop during the Naval Reserve Division Command Teams Training Seminar

Senior leadership of the Royal Canadian Naval Reserve from across the country met in Quebec City from Aug. 14-17, to discuss where the Formation had been, where it currently stands, and where it is going.

The theme of this year’s command team conference was “Naval Reserve Integration”, an important principle of the Royal Canadian Navy as it continues forward with the “One Navy” reorganization concept. 

The conference was chaired by Commodore David Craig, Commander of the Naval Reserve, and attended by representatives from the Canadian Naval Training System, personnel from Ottawa, and the Commanding Officer and Coxswain from each of Canada’s 24 Naval Reserve Divisions – or “stone frigates.”

Over the course of the three days, attendees participated in informational presentations and interactive workshops on Naval Reserve organization and training.

These served to equip senior Naval Reserve leadership with the information and tools to tackle the challenges they may face as the Royal Canadian Navy integrates all force generation processes.

Among those in attendance was RAdm Bill Truelove, Commander Maritime Forces Pacific (MARPAC), who has taken on increased responsibility as the Naval Reserve becomes amalgamated with MARPAC.

“This conference marks an important milestone for the Naval Reserve as we continue to transform it into an institution of excellence for the 21st century. With the centennial behind us and future procurement projects on the horizon, we must now lay the foundation to ensure the Naval Reserve plays an integral role of augmenting our maritime forces in the future of our navy,” said RAdm Truelove.

With the release of the 2013-2017 Executive Plan by VAdm Mark Norman, Commander of the RCN, the Naval Reserve is accelerating the transition of becoming increasingly integrated with their Regular Force counterparts with a cadre of trained sailors and officers who can be employed at sea and ashore in a wide range of missions.

Among the measures to be implemented is the integration of the training units within the Naval Reserve into the Naval Training System, as well as an emphasis on using Naval Reserve sailors to supplement Regular Force members on a variety of missions and platforms.

Accomplishments of the “One Navy” system have already become apparent: frigates such as HMC Ships Regina and Calgary, traditionally crewed by Regular Force sailors, have recently deployed on operations and exercises with a number of Reservists in key positions Additionally, Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels (MCDVs), which have up to now been mostly crewed by Reservists, have seen an increased percentage of the crew positions being manned by Regular Force members.

The ultimate goal of Naval Reserve integration into Maritime Forces Pacific is to provide a flexible and professional array of both Regular and Reserve Force members that can deploy on a variety of platforms and execute missions across a spectrum of operations.

RAdm Truelove also recognized the role the Naval Reserve plays in educating ordinary Canadians across the country about the work their navy is doing, at home, and abroad.

“The divisions you command are well situated to get out into communities, project our core values and educate Canadians about our proud institution. In years to come, we must continue to engage with Canadians and share our story.”

Jamie Cook
Navy Public Affairs

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