Holiday Messages from the Base Commander and Rear-Admiral

Captain (Navy) Jason Boyd and his family: wife Deborah, daughter Grace, and son Taylor. Photo by MCpl Carbe Orellana, MARPAC Imaging Services

Captain (Navy) Jason Boyd and his family: wife Deborah, daughter Grace, and son Taylor. Photo by MCpl Carbe Orellana, MARPAC Imaging Services

With the holiday season just around the corner, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the whole Defence Team for all the perseverance and dedication you have displayed over the past year.

While I have only been Base Commander for a few short months, I know how hard all of you work and believe that your efforts deserve to be recognized. As 2017 comes to a close, it is important that you take pride in all that you have accomplished and look forward to what 2018 has to offer.

Today, Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt is engaged in a number of projects to make the base more flexible and efficient for years to come. Included among our endeavours is the Esquimalt Harbour Remediation Project, which not only ensures that our harbour will be cleaner and healthier for future generations, but is also uncovering a number of historical artifacts. These items tie us to those who came before and ensure that we will never forget their service or sacrifices.

Alongside this is the replacement of A and B jetties and the ongoing construction at Fleet Maintenance Facility Cape Breton. All of this means that CFB Esquimalt will remain a busy place for the next several years, while guaranteeing us that we will have the tools and infrastructure necessary to support the fleet far into the foreseeable future.

With all of the work going on inside our base, it is important to acknowledge all the effort that has gone into strengthening ties with the community outside our fences. I am proud of how members from so many different units and organizations come together to participate in events including everything from the Victoria Pride Parade to the Defence Team Appreciation Night.

Of special note is all the volunteering that so many of you do, be it with a local sports team or an organization such as HeroWork. Participating in these events and giving back to our community are crucial in educating our neighbours about what we do and establishing connections with our fellow Canadians.

CAF and DND members have always given their utmost in this regard and I could not be happier with the results.

With all of these projects and events on the go, as well as our day-to-day requirements, it is not surprising that many of us find ourselves very busy at work. This is why I urge you all to find some time over this holiday period to relax and recharge your batteries.

Our Defence Team people are our first priority, so take this opportunity to reach out to others, spend quality time with your families and friends, and celebrate the holidays in whatever way you see fit. You are an integral part of our group and your health and wellbeing is my number one concern.

From my family to yours, I wish you a relaxing and fulfilling holiday period. I hope that you come back in January replenished, re-energized, and eager to take on all the challenges that a new year brings.

Have a safe and enjoyable holiday season and all the best in 2018!

Captain (N) Jason Boyd
Base Commander


Rear-Admiral Art McDonald and his wife Sabina.

Rear-Admiral Art McDonald and his wife Sabina.

As the year comes to a close, here in Maritime Forces Pacific, we all rightly look forward to celebrating the holiday season with our families and friends.

In pausing for the holidays, we can also all look back over the past year with great pride in everything that we have accomplished to deliver a truly spectacular operational capability/output for Canada.

Enabled and sustained by world-class logistics and engineering efforts by Base Logistics and FMF Cape Breton respectively, Canadian Fleet Pacific ships have once again demonstrated excellence at sea – including in furnishing persistent Canadian presence across Indo-Asia Pacific, in disrupting the finances of transnational criminals through drug busts off the Eastern Pacific coasts of Central America, and here in our own waters too in Arctic deployments and activities such as B.C.’s largest ever at-sea search and rescue exercise.

As well, HMCS Oriole completed a challenging and highly successful long distance deployment from Esquimalt through the Panama Canal to the Great Lakes to participate in Canada 150 celebrations.

In addition, our Maritime Tactical Operations Group and Naval Security Team deployments across the globe have been both ground-breaking and successful. In all of this we’ve embraced and profited from our “One Navy,” Regular and Reserve Force, approach.

Further, HMCS Chicoutimi remains deployed – conducting the furthest deployment in VCS history and conducting the first Canadian submarine visit to Japan in more than half a century.

We need be equally proud of our leadership of the more than 2,200 Canadian Armed Forces personnel and air assets assigned to Joint Task Force Pacific to support provincial authorities during the summer’s unprecedented summer of wild fires. Recall this Christmas, your role in helping ensure many British Columbians are in their own homes this holiday season.

Reflect as well that we were applauded for executing the Pacific Command Chiefs of Defence Conference brilliantly and then supporting the United Nations’ Peace Keeping Defence Ministerial Conference equally well.

Meanwhile, our NPTG team has been extremely busy training about 1,400 sailors daily while also advancing the Future Naval Training System – arguably the most critical element of the Royal Canadian Navy’s current transformation – in such visible ways as in the roll-out of MARTECH training.

Likewise, Naval Reserve transformation has continued apace having revised organizational structure and C2, implemented a modern regenerative training regime and, delivered impressive expedited enrolment results in support of a long-term NavRes growth plan.

Of course, while there’s much to be proud of in what we’ve done, there’s even more to be proud of in how we go about being one of the nation’s best employers.

Driven by the watch-words of six “ships,” we’ve made great progress and remain absolutely committed to ensuring that our workplaces – from deck plates to shop floors to office cubicles – are free of inappropriate behaviours while also championing/celebrating diversity and inclusion.

Further, under CFB Esquimalt leadership we’ve refreshed and revitalized our NDWCC effort – celebrating our enormous volunteerism efforts in the local community as well as our financial contribution.

In retrospect, I’m sure you’ll agree that we can be justly proud of our Defence Community and our personal and collective contributions to its past year’s successes. And so, I want to thank each and every one of you, both Canadian Armed Forces members and our civilian employees, for the work you put in, this year and every year, to uphold the standard of excellence that we expect – a standard that through your hard work we routinely exceed! Bravo Zulu.

Of course, I need also recognize and thank our families for the love and commitment they show us every day. They keep us supported, energized, and motivated to serve our country to the best of our abilities. Without them, we simply could not serve so well. For this, I salute their service and sacrifices.

Having accomplished so much and endured so many sacrifices, you and your families all deserve to enjoy a respite via a wonderful holiday season this year! My wish for each of you, shipmates, is that you’ll get exactly that in this Holiday Season. Enjoy the festive season.

As you do, please do take the time though to remember your shipmates deployed around the world and their families too – especially the Chicoutimi team and family.

Shipmates, my wife, Sabina and I, wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Thank you for your service successes in 2017. I am looking forward to seeing you build on these good results with continued success in 2018.

Season’s Greetings,

Rear-Admiral Art McDonald
Commander Maritime Forces Pacific

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