HMCS Max Bernays set for Task Group Exercise

HMCS Max Bernays

HMCS Max Bernays. Photo: Mona Ghiz.

Peter Mallett, 
Staff Writer 
The Royal Canadian Navy’s (RCN) third Arctic and Offshore Patrol Vessel (AOPV) is poised for its first naval exercise with vessels of the Pacific Fleet. 

Shortly after arrival, HMCS Max Bernays will participate in Task Group Exercise (TGEX) 24-01 with Halifax-class frigate HMCS VancouverKingston-class vessels HMCS Edmonton and Yellowknife, and Naval Replenishment Unit (NRU) Asterix. The exercise will take place from Apr. 22 to May 3 in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the Salish Sea, and off the West Coast of Vancouver Island. 

TGEX 24-01 also involves members of the Fleet Diving Unit (Pacific), Naval Tactical Operations Group, and 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron, confirmed Lieutenant-Commander (LCdr) Ben Scott, Senior Staff Officer, Canadian Fleet Pacific.

“The goal of TGEX 24-01 is to build tactical skills among several ships simultaneously, preparing them for Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) and deployments to the Indo-Pacific and the Arctic later this year,” said LCdr Scott.

Max Bernays and crew are set to arrive in Esquimalt in mid-April following its transit from Halifax that began on March 11. The ship celebrated passage through the Panama Canal and into the waters of the Pacific on March 24. LCdr Clayton Erickson, the ship’s Executive Officer, confirmed a refuelling stop in San Diego between April 4-7.  The ship stopped in San Francisco April 9-12 for crew rest and supporting engagements with U.S. Coast Guard representatives. 

The excitement continues to mount for LCdr Erickson and crew about the long-awaited moment of passing Duntze Head and pulling alongside in Dockyard.

“It is a very special and proud feeling to be involved in bringing the new ship and its incredibly talented and motivated group of sailors to the Pacific Fleet,” he said.

The ship will depart Esquimalt on May 1 following important maintenance, joining the TGEX ships on May 2 before proceeding into Vancouver Harbour for a commissioning ceremony that will take place on May 3 during Fleet Week.

CPO Bernays earned the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal for his heroic efforts in August 1942 aboard HMCS Assiniboine when it was under attack by a German U-Boat. Its namesake is also forever connected to the motto of HMCS Max Bernays: ‘Undaunted by Fire’, says LCdr Erickson.

Max Bernays is the third of six ships in its class. AOPVs are delivered to the RCN to conduct sovereignty and surveillance operations in Canadian waters on all three coasts, including the Arctic. Max Bernays launched into the water on Oct. 23, 2021, with a naming ceremony on May 29, 2022.

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