MCDVs set sail to support Naval Warfare Officers’ training

HMCS Edmonton

HMCS Edmonton’s crew visits Alaska during a recent Naval Warfare Officer II training sail. Top row (L-R): Petty Officer Second Class (PO2) Mellis, PO2 Hunter, Lieutenant (Navy) Hembruff, Sailor Third Class Finch, Lieutenant (Navy) Hwang, Sub-Lieutenant Yen. Bottom row (L-R): Sailor First Class Tse, Lieutenant (Navy) Negm XO, Petty Officer First Class Robichaud (Coxswain), Aviator Brittain.

Kateryna Bandura 

Two Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels (MCDVs) have been tasked with helping out with Naval Warfare Officer (NWO) II course delivery to relieve high summer demand on the training system.

“HMCS Brandon and HMCS Edmonton are pushing through a backlog of trainees needing to complete the sea phase of NWO II before continuing their trade training,” said Petty Officer First Class (PO1) Nicolas Robichaud, HMCS Edmonton’s Coxswain.

The NWO II course is one course in the many stages of NWO training. Over the last decade, the course’s sea phase has been conducted on the ORCA class, however, this summer it will consist of three waves of 20 students crewing HMCSs Brandon and Edmonton over a total of six weeks.

Lieutenant-Commander (LCdr) Louis-Phillippe Trudel, a trained NWO with HMCS Brandon, said the students require time at sea to learn the basic seamanship skills expected of all sailors.

“Generally speaking, they are being oriented to life at sea,” LCdr Trudel said.

The NWO trainees are learning to be effective lookouts and helm people. They practice working ship lines and participate in all ship evolutions and emergencies, such as spill response, damage control, and person overboard. The ships also support the training of NWOs working on bridge watchkeeping tickets and Marine Technicians working towards their engineering watchkeeper certification. The ships’ route lies along the Inside Passage through the islands on the Pacific Northwest coast, which has been beneficial for navigation and contact avoidance training.

LCdr Trudel said the training has been incredibly beneficial and the crews are making the most of their port visits. The ships visited Vancouver, Prince Rupert, and Juneau.

“We were fortunate to spend a few days in Juneau, Alaska, where Edmonton participated in a hike (and) paddle boarding event at Glendenhall Glacier and a hike of Mount Juneau,” PO1 Robichaud said. “We also took the time and enjoyed some Alaskan king crab at Tracy’s King Crab Shack.”

The MCDVs will complete the second training wave upon arrival in Comox, B.C. on July 22, where the crews will provide tours to the cadets in Quadra and the general public. The third and final wave will lead them to San Francisco. The ships will return to Esquimalt on Aug. 5.

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