Trip of a lifetime for cadets

Cadet CPO1 Dennis Roberts

Cadet CPO1 Dennis Roberts, Coxswain of HMCS Rainbow, was in the media spotlight upon disembarking from HMCS Protecteur after six weeks at sea.

HMCS Protecteur sailed back into Esquimalt Harbour Nov. 18, returning nine Sea Cadets from a once-in-a-lifetime training opportunity.

“It was quite unique and really cool,” says CPO1 Dennis Roberts, 18, Coxswain of HMCS Rainbow.

Sea cadets from British Columbia and Alberta joined Protecteur’s crew on Oct. 12 for a six-week trip to see the work of sailors in a Royal Canadian Navy ship.

Senior sea cadets, aged 16 to 18, were integrated into all crew responsibilities, from deck, air detachment, logistics, marine systems engineering, combat systems engineering and combat.

The group also conducted cleaning stations, painted the ship and participated in the Remembrance Day ceremony. They toured the retired USS Midway and the USS Kidd.

While in the port of San Diego, the sea cadets explored some of California’s attractions, such as the San Diego Zoo, Sea World, Disneyland and Universal Studios, and even got to spend a couple days on the beach.

But even better than basking in the sun was taking a tour of California’s coastline in a Sea King helicopter.

“That was the highlight of the trip,” says CPO1 Roberts, who is in his last year of cadets. He joined when he was 12 years old.

The sea cadets who joined Protecteur were selected based on recommendations from their commanding officer.

“Dennis is a cadet that I would have had no hesitation in recommending for a deployment such as the recent Protecteur one, as he is always willing to learn,” said Lt(N) Jean Ann Cyr, Staff Officer 3 Sea for Regional Cadet Support Unit (Pacific). “I knew he would make the most of the opportunity.”

-Larissa Johnston, Navy Public Affairs

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