HMCS Calgary Change of Command


On a beautiful navy day off Royal Roads, the ship’s company of HMCS Calgary gathered on the flight deck for the Change of Command Ceremony between outgoing Commanding Officer, Commander Alex Barlow, and the Incoming Commanding Officer, Commander Mark O’Donohue.

The July 22 ceremony was presided over by Commander Canadian Fleet Pacific, Commodore Angus Topshee, who was accompanied by the Fleet Chief Petty Officer, Chief Petty Officer First Class Sylvain Jaquemot.

Commander Barlow assumed command of Calgary in January after relinquishing Command of HMCS Ottawa, having completed a successful deployment to the Far East.

During his time in command, he guided Calgary through a busy and tumultuous time beginning with an emergency dry docking, several phases of operations team training, and undocking. This was followed by an additional pre-deployment readiness sail and Calgary’s eventual 50-day commitment to TGEX 20-1 in support of Operation Laser.

Although the outbreak of COVID-19 prevented Calgary from deploying on Operation Projection as scheduled, Cdr Barlow guided his crew through many challenges with his outstanding leadership and unwavering direction to Calgary’s crew when it was needed most. Although he will be missed by the entire ship’s company as Captain, he takes with him all of Calgary’s best wishes for his future endeavours.

From 2016 to 2018, Cdr O’Donohue assumed the duties of Executive Officer in HMC Ships Fredericton and Toronto, participating in multiple exercises and trials, sailing to Central and South America, as well as the Canadian Great Lakes. Upon completion of his Executive Officer tour, he joined the Maritime Component Commander staff in Halifax, overseeing and supporting ships deployed on named operations.

In his new role as Commanding Officer of HMCS Calgary, he will oversee the ship’s tiered readiness program in order to prepare the ship and crew for their upcoming deployment to the Far East and the Arabian Gulf starting in February 2021.


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  1. George Karaki says:

    Thanks for the update, I was among the selected group in1960 to attend educational classes in HMCS .Esquimalt.
    ! The focus of this program was to upgrade the education of each selected RCN individual to receive a university degree to serve in the RCN. This was conditional to serving 7 years of service in the RCN. I don’t know what this has to do with the article I’m reading? , but it brings back memories!

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