HMCS Winnipeg: A Boatload of Brothers


Capt Christine MacNeil, 
HMCS Winnipeg PAO

For those who serve, their fellow Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members are like a second family.

But, six individuals aboard HMCS Winnipeg are fortunate to have two families around them – their CAF families as well as their brothers.


Sergio Lorenzo and Evan Acosta

Sergio Lorenzo and Evan Acosta

Sergio Lorenzo and Evan Acosta are step-brothers from Nova Scotia.

“Being able to deploy with my little brother is probably the best part of this deployment,” Master Sailor (MS) Lorenzo said. “It may not always be sunshine and rainbows, but at least I know he is here and that brightens up my day.”

Sergio is nine years older than Evan, but they have always been close. In 2008, Sergio decided to make a positive change in his life and joined the Halifax Rifles (Royal Canadian Armoured Corps). Four years later, Evan joined the same unit.

Both then decided to join the CAF and transferred to the Regular Force. Sergio joined the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) as a Hull Technician (now Marine Technician). Evan joined the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) as an Avionics Systems Technician and now works on the CH-148 Cyclone in the Maritime Helicopter community.

In 2021, MS Lorenzo was posted to HMCS Winnipeg; in early spring 2022, the Air Detachment arrived on the ship, bringing Sergio’s brother, Corporal (Cpl) Evan Acosta.

“Sailing with my brother is surreal,” Cpl Acosta said. “Every time we fly, we are close by one-another. Although he frustrates me, like any brother does, while at sea, when we get into port we have a lot of fun exploring countries.”


Hubert and Thomas Desbiens

Hubert and Thomas Desbiens

Hubert and Thomas Desbiens are brothers from Quebec City.

“When we work together, we don’t even have to speak and we know exactly what to do. It is the kind of bond that takes a lot of time to develop,” Cpl Thomas Desbiens said.

Hubert and Thomas are also close, with only two and a half years between them. They have an older brother, Alex, who served as a Vehicle Technician in the Canadian Army, and they believe he had a dash of influence on their decisions to join the CAF.

Hubert joined the RCN in 2015 as a Weapons Engineering Technician (Armament), choosing that career because it seemed to be a perfect balance of physical work and technical puzzles. Thomas wanted to make a difference and see the world, so he joined the RCAF in 2019 as an Aviation Systems Technician. Like Evan, he now works in the Maritime Helicopter community.

In the spring of 2022, Sailor First Class (S1) Hubert Desbiens was posted to HMCS Winnipeg. The ship deployed on June 14 for the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise, and Cpl Thomas Desbiens joined the ship upon RIMPAC’s completion.

“With me in the navy and my brother in the air force, deploying together will probably never happen again,” S1 Hubert Desbiens said. “It’s a unique experience, and it has been amazing. It feels like bringing a part of home with me.”


Setthakit Srisamer and Anthony Alexander

Setthakit Srisamer and Anthony Alexander

Setthakit Srisamer and Anthony Alexander are half-brothers who grew up in Thailand and Richmond, B.C.

“I’m grateful to have the opportunity to deploy in the Asia-Pacific region with my brother,” Sailor First Class Setthakit Srisamer said.

The brothers moved from Thailand to Canada when Sett was 12 and Anthony was six.

In 2015, Sett joined the CAF looking for experience and adventure. He joined the RCN as an Electrical Marine Technician (now Marine Technician). In 2021, Anthony followed suit, joining the RCN as a Naval Electronics Sensor Operator (NES Op).

S1 Setthakit Srisamer was posted to HMCS Winnipeg in 2021. Like Cpl Desbiens, S1 Srisamer’s brother, Sailor Third Class Anthony Alexander, joined the ship in Pearl Harbor after completing his NES Op training.

“My brother is worth a thousand of your friends,” Sailor Third Class Anthony Alexander said. “Having the opportunity to sail with him and hang out during port visits has been awesome.”


Sometimes all it takes is a dash of luck.

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