Alongside training for HMCS Glace Bay

PO2 Gauthier-Villeneuve instructs students aboard HMCS Glace Bay.

Alongside training for  HMCS Glace Bay

By SLt Samantha Crocker,
UPAR HMCS Donnacona

For the past several years, the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) has been transitioning into a One Navy concept. Men and women from the Regular and Reserve Force are the foundation of the RCN’s service. They are among the most professional, highly educated and highly trained sailors in the world. Regular and Reserve Force members train and prepare in the same manner in order to be operational at home and abroad through part- and full-time service. As a result, the RCN’s ships, which are manned by a mixture of Regular and Reserve Force members, are able to deploy around the world and make a difference for Canada.

Alongside training, such as that conducted onboard HMCS Glace Bay, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, is an example of the One Navy organization at play. Naval Reservists from across Quebec, and from HMCS Carleton attended the training weekend on February 23-24, 2019.

Naval Reservists were greeted with a lunch visit by the Commanding Officer and Unit Chief Petty Officer of Base Logistics of Canadian Forces Base Halifax, Cdr C.B. Chalmers and CPO1 Class Dan Campbell on February 23. The meal was prepared by Naval Reserve cooks onboard the ship.

The alongside training supported sea readiness, as well as quality of training. Due to the location of Naval Reserve Divisions across Canada, Naval Reservists are not able to train on Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels, like HMCS Glace Bay, regularly. An Alongside Training Weekend allows Naval Reservists to progress in readiness and proficiency in shore and water-based tasks so that they are ready when called upon.

Throughout the weekend, 24 Naval Reservists were able to spend two days familiarizing themselves with the layout and equipment onboard a Kingston class vessel – so that when the RCN is required to deploy, Canadian’s can be assured that the RCN is prepared to meet those changing demands. MCDVs are very flexible and inter-changeable. Through dedication and hard work of their sailors, the MCDVs, are able to do everything from fighting a battle to building an orphanage.

“Alongside weekends gives you a hands-on experience that you could otherwise not acquire when working at home,” said AB Ronald Hiscock, a Marine Technician at HMCS Donnacona. “It helps to be able to visually see the platform. It turns the theory that you learn in a classroom into reality.”