Ships’ visit delights cadets in Comox

MCDV Open House

HMCS Quadra Cadets assemble on HMCS Edmonton’s deck for a tour.

Peter Mallett, 
Staff Writer

A rare visit by two Maritime Forces Pacific (MARPAC) Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels (MCDV) to eastern Vancouver Island became a focal point of three occasions.

The Kingston-class ships HMCS Brandon and HMCS Edmonton held an Open House for the locals and offered tours to cadets from nearby Cadet Training Centre (CTC) HMCS Quadra. The outreach event also became a homecoming for Lieutenant Commander (LCdr) Tyler Smith, Edmonton’s Commanding Officer.

With a combined complement of 80 sailors, the ships visited the Department of National Defence Jetty on Port Augusta Street in Comox, B.C., on July 22.

“People were quite interested in getting a tour of the ship and talking to the sailors about what their jobs entailed,” said Lieutenant (Navy) Cam Prescott, HMCS Brandon’s Executive Officer. “As well, many were keen on finding out what the ships generally do on missions or what life at sea is like.”

Lt(N) Prescott said his ship’s Open House successfully showcased the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) to the residents.

Meanwhile, HMCS Edmonton offered extensive guided tours to approximately 220 cadets from HMCS Quadra. The tours encompassed the entire ship, from the bridge to the ship’s engine rooms and living quarters, said Lt(N) Kareem Negm, Edmonton’s Executive Officer.

“We like to think of the cadets as part of our collective family at the RCN, so by connecting with them in this manner, we invest in their futures by showing them that the training they are doing now is meaningful and of great value to all of us onboard,” LtNegm said.

This was the first summer since 2019 the cadets have been engaged in full in-person training, said Lt Rachel Louis, Quadra’s Unit Public Affairs Representative.

Not only did LCdr Smith show off the Edmonton to the cadets, he also visited CTC Quadra. Lt Louis led him throughout the facility, including the Perri Department, where LCdr Smith once worked as an Adventure Training Instructor.

“Visiting HMCS Quadra was a little bit like going home because it is such a familiar place to me,” LCdr Smith said.

As a cadet, LCdr Smith travelled from his home in Calgary to attend HMCS Quadra for three summers, beginning in 1996. He also spent three subsequent summers in Comox as a staff member. He joined the Naval Reserves in 2002 and then the Regular Force in 2007.

He says bringing the cadets on board the ship that day seemed only natural.

“I had such a great connection with them and understood where they were coming from, so this made it easier to explain the ship from my perspective,” he said.

Members from the Canadian Armed Forces Recruiting Centre were also present for the event to answer any questions about career options with the Navy.

Chief Petty Officer Cadet First Class (CPOC1) Ben Judson of Winnipeg, Man., has been involved in the cadet program for the past seven years. He said the tour of Edmonton gave him a complete understanding of what life is like on a Canadian vessel.

“I loved seeing how the crew dealt with the ship, crew quarters, the front and back engine, as well as how to properly use ladders,” CPOC1 Judson said. “After talking with the Regular Force and Naval Reservists aboard, I am now considering applying to RMC [Royal Military College] in September.”

MCDV Open House

HMCS Edmonton and HMCS Brandon hosted Open House visits for residents of Comox, July 22. Photos supplied.

Filed Under: Top Stories

About the Author:

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Comments are closed.