HMCS Vancouver Change of Command

HMCS Vancouver Change of Command

Commodore David Mazur, Commander Canadian Fleet Pacific and Reviewing Officer, Commander (Cdr) Meghan Coates, incoming Commanding officer His Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Vancouver, and Cdr Kevin Whiteside, outgoing Commanding Officer, participate in the ceremonial signing at the Change of Command Ceremony Feb. 3. Photo: Sailor First Class Kendric C.W. Grasby.

HMCS Vancouver looks ahead to a summer deployment with a new leader.

Peter Mallett, Staff Writer — Commander (Cdr) Meghan Coates assumed command of her second Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) warship in less than a year.

“My most important lesson so far is that I can learn so much from the ship’s team every day, and if I show up for them when they need me, they show up for me when I need them,” Cdr Coates said.

Cdr Coates bid a fond farewell to HMCS Regina on Feb. 2, relinquishing her command to Cdr Tyson Bergmann. The following day, she hoisted her pennant on HMCS Vancouver as Cdr Kevin Whiteside turned over command of the ship. He is now  preparing for his next posting in Esquimalt.

Cdr Coates said her first experience as the CO of an RCN frigate was an exciting learning experience.

“It takes a lot of work and sacrifice to become a CO or any appointed position; everyone looks to you and is counting on you,” she said.

In his farewell message, Cdr Whiteside thanked the ship’s company and the entire Defence community for their support.

Vancouver is getting a fantastic Commanding Officer in my good friend Cdr Meghan Coates who comes with a wealth of experience,” Cdr Whiteside said. “I could not think of a better person and leader to take the ship through the next phases of its operational journey.”

Cdr Whiteside has no doubt Vancouver will succeed in their 2023 program.

The Change of Command for HMCS Regina is a new beginning for Cdr Bergmann: he now gets his first chance to command a major Canadian warship. He agreed with Cdr Coates on the importance of teamwork and having each other’s backs. When she handed the Regina over, he said her work spoke for itself.

“The hard work and dedication Cdr Coates has shown towards re-activating Regina was clear through the motivation throughout Regina’s entire crew,” Cdr Bergmann said.

Meanwhile, Vancouver is preparing for another overseas deployment this summer. Following Intermediate Multi-Ship Readiness Training, the ship’s operational plans include an Indo-Pacific deployment in August 2023.

Commander (Cdr) Megan Coates:

Cdr Coates became a Naval Warfare Officer (NWO) in 1999 after graduating high school in her hometown of St. Stephen, N.B.

Her postings included Bridge Watchkeeper aboard HMCS Fredericton in 2005, Above Water Warfare Officer for HMCS Calgary in 2008, and Executive Officer (XO) of HMCS Calgary from July 2020–August 2021.

She is married to Captain (Navy) Matthew Coates, Commanding Officer (CO) of Naval Personnel Training Group (NPTG). The couple has two boys, Nathaniel (11) and Jackson (8).

Commander Kevin Whiteside:

Cdr Whiteside was born and raised in Scarborough, Ont. He joined the forces in 1998 and the RCN in 2003.

He has served as XO of HMCS Winnipeg from October 2014–May 2016. Following this, he served as XO of Sea Training Pacific, ensuring readiness of deploying units from the Pacific and Atlantic fleets. His last job before serving as Vancouver’s CO was Executive Assistant for Commander RCN from Jan 2019–Jan 2021.

Cdr Whiteside says his main non-sea-going passion is his role as husband and father to ‘three awesome children’.

Commander Tyson Bergmann:

Born and raised in Port Alberni, Cdr Bergmann joined the RCN in 1997.

He is now being piped aboard Regina after serving as Director of Current Operations (F3) for Canadian Fleet Pacific. He previously served as XO of HMCS Ottawa, CO of the Patrol Craft Training Unit, as well as Operations Room Officer for HMCS Algonquin and as Bridge Watchkeeper in HMCS Toronto.

He currently resides in Victoria with his spouse Jennifer and stepson, Gavin.

HMCS Vancouver

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