University students learn about military’s role in NATO

Simon Fraser University NATO Field School students are welcomed on board HMCS Brandon.

Simon Fraser University NATO Field School students are welcomed on board HMCS Brandon.

Will Chaster, MARPAC PA ~

Students from Simon Fraser University (SFU) got an inside look at one of the largest Canadian Forces Bases in Canada with an aim to better understand the military’s role in NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization).

Thirty-one students, all part of the university’s NATO Field School, toured CFB Esquimalt and HMCS Brandon May 16.

The NATO Field School introduces students to Canada’s role within NATO and the Canadian Armed Force’s responsibilities, both domestically and internationally.

After a walking tour of dockyard, the group headed to the Wardroom for a special briefing on Operation Reassurance and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) efforts to support NATO activities. The presentation was given by Lieutenant-Commander James Brun and Chief Petty Officer First Class Michel Vincelette.

Last year the base sent three military members to the university for their Global Model NATO Summit, and then hosted a group of 70 international students on a tour of the base.

“This was an amazing opportunity for students to get real exposure to the navy and understand the vital functions they perform,” said Jazlyn Melnychuk, Student Leader of the SFU NATO Field School and Vice President and Founder of the SFU Model NATO Club.

Students also visited 19 Wing Comox and CAF training facilities in Chilliwack before departing to Europe to visit NATO Headquarters in Brussels, the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in Mons, and the NATO Defense College in Rome.

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