Edmonton and Whitehorse conduct Force Generation at sea

A crewmember on board HMCS Whitehorse fires a line towards HMCS Edmonton during a light line transfer while sailing in the eastern Pacific Ocean, April 26. Photo by MARPAC Imaging Services

A crewmember on board HMCS Whitehorse fires a line towards HMCS Edmonton during a light line transfer while sailing in the eastern Pacific Ocean, April 26. Photo by MARPAC Imaging Services

Lt(N) Paul Pendergast, MARPAC Public Affairs ~

When Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships Edmonton and Whitehorse arrived in Esquimalt May 3, there was much to celebrate. While deployed on Operation Caribbe, the ships combined to prevent more than two tonnes of cocaine from reaching North America.

But that was not the only success achieved since they departed Esquimalt on Feb.16. 

The ships also conducted extensive Force Generation training during the deployment, which allocated time to mentor junior personnel, and provided a regular schedule of drills to allow members to advance their training packages.

In Edmonton, a cook completed the Qualification Level 4 (QL4) On the Job Performance Requirement package, and one Naval Combat Information Operator and three Boatswains completed their QL4 On the Job package, which is a requirement for promotion to Leading Seaman.

Three Boatswains in the Whitehorse Deck department finished their QL4 package, and a Naval Warfare Officer received his Bridge Watchkeeping ticket and the Officer of the Day (Afloat) qualification. 

Whitehorse Engineering department held boards at the end of the operation, and two Marine Systems Engineers attained their “B Ticket”, which qualifies them to stand watch as Engineering Officer of the Watch. In that position they are responsible for maintaining propulsion as required by command, directing the engineering watch, as well as on-watch maintenance and ensuring the ship complies with all environmental regulations.

“The B Ticket is a very important milestone in their career, and it is a requirement for promotion to Master-Seaman,” said Whitehorse Chief Engineer.  “To sail on a deployment, the Kingston Class requires three B Tickets and three A tickets, as well as one C ticket (or Cert 4) as Chief Engineer. It is vitally important to generate trained engineers to fill those billets so these ships can deploy on operations like Caribbe.”

At the end of Op Caribbe, Edmonton and Whitehorse arrived in San Diego to re-fuel and drop off the U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment, which freed up bunks for extra personnel. Each ship embarked eight members who were progressing their On the Job Performance Requirement packages and working towards qualifications.

“During the transit home from San Diego, we added a variety of seamanship evolutions to the programme, such as Light Line Transfer, Tow-Ex, and Coming to a Buoy,” said Lt(N) Sean Kelly, Whitehorse Executive Officer. “These evolutions were essential for members to complete individual training packages, as well as maintaining Combat Readiness Requirements for the ship.”

A Marine Systems Engineer who embarked in Whitehorse in San Diego achieved his A Ticket, qualifying him as an Engineer, and allowing him to stand watch as an Engineering Roundsman, and operate auxiliary equipment on his own.   

In addition to the various trade qualifications completed, a number of Petty Officers of the Watch, Quarter Masters, Duty Coxswains were qualified, and the ships progressed Officer of the Day and Naval Officer Professional Qualification Packages throughout the trip.

After arriving in Esquimalt, the members embarked for training returned to their home units with more qualifications and experience on their resume. Both ships have busy sailing schedules ahead during the summer and fall, and some members will be heading off on career courses or postings. But for now, the crews of Edmonton and Whitehorse are enjoying their well-deserved post-deployment leave.

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