New Minister of National Defence visits dockyard

MND visits dockyard esquimalt

Defence Minister Jason Kenney speaks with a member of the Guard of Honour at Duntze Head.

Defence Minister Jason Kenney had his first official visit with the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), and first look at the modernized Pacific Fleet, at Maritime Forces Pacific (MARPAC) on Friday, Feb. 27.

This first-hand look at the RCN allowed the Minister to see the extensive modernization happening throughout the fleet.

A tweet put out by the Minister showed HMCS Vancouver, the newest Halifax-class frigate to have completed the modernization/frigate life extension (HMC/FELEX) program, returning from a week-long sail just as the Minister was arriving on base.

On his arrival to the base, Minister Kenney was met by a 50-person Guard of Honour and members of the Naden Band. He was then escorted to a lunch at the Submarine Support Facility where he met with senior leadership, including Commodore David Craig, Commander of the Naval Reserve.

Following the lunch, Minister Kenney toured HMCS Chicoutimi, one of the three Victoria-class submarines now in a steady state, which is set to return to the water this month.

From there he was taken on a tour of HMCS Calgary, a Halifax-class frigate which, like HMCS Vancouver, has recently been updated through the HCM/FELEX program. Calgary was the workhorse of the Pacific Fleet last year, spending more than 250 days at sea.

“It was truly remarkable to see first-hand the hard work and progress made by the RCN in this period of modernization and fleet renewal,” remarked Minister Kenney.

The RCN’s fleet upgrades weren’t the only thing that impressed the Minister during his visit. In a news release he stated, “While having the best equipment available is important, even more important are the men and women of the RCN who, through their dedication and professionalism, exemplify the best qualities of our Canadian Armed Forces.”

Katelyn Moores
MARPAC Public Affairs

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