Winnipeg changes Captains while on deployment

sailor waves farewell to ship

Cdr Pascal Belhumeur, the out-going Commanding Officer of HMCS Winnipeg, bids farewell to the ship’s company as they man the ship’s side following a Change of Command ceremony in Penang, Malaysia.

SLt Jamie Tobin, HMCS Winnipeg – After more than two and half years at the helm of one of the Royal Canadian Navy’s forward deployed ships, Commander Pascal Belhumeur turned over command of HMCS Winnipeg to Cdr J. Jeffrey Hutchinson on Jan. 18.

The ceremony took place on the ship’s flight deck under the hot Penang, Malaysia, sun and was presided over by Commodore J.B. Zwick, Commander Canadian Fleet Pacific.

The ship’s company stood on parade to bid farewell to Cdr Belhumeur, who was joined by his wife Karen and two children for his final day in command.
“This is a great crew and I owe my success to them,” said Cdr Belhumeur. “We brought this ship from its mid-life refit and took it on the journey to high-readiness before embarking on a successful operational deployment. This would not have been possible without the support of this incredible team.”

Cdr Belhumeur assumed command of Winnipeg July 2, 2013, and led the crew through modernized Halifax-class frigate training and the tiered readiness program before deploying on Operation Reassurance June 15, 2015.

Cdr Hutchinson was joined by his wife Jin for his first day in command of Winnipeg, and as he took the watch the in-coming Commanding Officer made his intentions very clear.

“Our mission is to get Winnipeg safely back to Esquimalt so that we can reunite the crew with their families. Husbands, wives, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters have been waiting for the ship’s return for more than seven months and it is time to go home,” said Cdr Hutchinson.

Following the service, the crew bid farewell to Cdr Belhumeur by manning the ship’s port side and giving three cheers to him as he departed with his family.

Winnipeg will host strategic engagements during a few port stops throughout the Asia-Pacific region and is expected to arrive back in Esquimalt in late February.

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