Happy 25th Anniversary to Fleet Maintenance Facility Cape Scott
By Ashley Evans,
FMF Cape Scott/Cape Breton
April 4, 2021 marked the 25th anniversary of the inception of Fleet Maintenance Facility Cape Scott (FMFCS), the Royal Canadian Navy’s dedicated repair and maintenance facility situated within HMC Dockyard in Halifax, Nova Scotia..
FMFCS is a strategic asset to the RCN, providing a full range of naval engineering, maintenance, and repair services to support the operational availability of the Navy’s warships and submarines, auxiliary vessels, and other Formation Halifax units. The majority of work is completed onsite in HMC Dockyard, and mobile repair parties further extend their capabilities – providing the ability for specialized technicians to meet up with deployed RCN ships worldwide.
The past quarter-century has seen teams of military and civilian engineers, tradespersons, project planners, and other workers deliver on their mandate to serve the technical needs of the RCN fleet through operating this world-class ship repair facility, with work rooted in that of collaboration and a commitment to excellence.
FMFCS was formed through the amalgamation of three separate engineering, maintenance, and repair units: Ship Repair Unit Atlantic (SRUA), Naval Engineering Unit Atlantic (SRUA), and Fleet Maintenance Group Atlantic (FMGA). The Fleet Maintenance Facility Cape Scott took its current name from the former fleet escort maintenance ship – HMCS Cape Scott (ARE-101). The ship was permanently berthed alongside as a floating dockyard maintenance and repair facility in the 1970s, and the unit was later moved into a shore facility after being redesignated as FMGA.
FMFCS is comprised of seven departments – Operations, Engineering, Production, Unit Support, Finance, Strategy, and Process Integration. FMFCS’ Production department carries outstanding capabilities, including:
- Command and Control Systems;
- Communication Systems
- Above Water and Under Water Weapons Systems such as guns, missiles, fire-control and torpedo systems;
- Hydraulic Systems;
- Marine Diesel, Gas Turbine, Electrical Propulsion, and Auxiliary Systems;
- Electrical Generation and Distribution;
- Hull Maintenance and Fabrication resources;
- Machining; and
- Submarine Systems such as periscope maintenance and weapons certification, among others.
The highly-skilled Defence Team at work within this facility offers a wide-range of capabilities, including:
- Maintenance and repair of RCN liferafts;
- Installation of the CEROS 200 fire-control system;
- Management of the FMFs’ involvement of the Halifax-Class Modernization/Frigate Life Extension (HCM/FELEX) Program; and
- Continuous preservation work devoted to HMCS Sackville (K181), the world’s last surviving Flower-class corvette from the Second World War.
Additionally, the facility has worked hard to establish healthy and robust apprenticeship and student programs aimed at providing engaging and informative work terms that will aid in building and strengthening a skilled and diverse workforce.
Over the past 25 years FMFCS has evolved in a number of ways, with the construction of several purpose-built structures including the main D247 building, the Weapons and Electronics building, and the Submarine Repair Shelter. The design for D247 was developed in 2000, with completion in 2002. The Submarine Repair Shelter, a climate-controlled building, allows for hull maintenance, repairs, and upgrades to both submarines and various surface ships, and was completed in 2012 after three years of construction. These two purpose-build facilities brought the total building count at FMFCS to 13, with an overall footprint of more than 81,000 square metres (871,929 square feet).
Undoubtedly, the many talents and expertise of the minds and hands at work within this impressive facility give it its strength and ability to meet many successes. Time and time again FMFCS has been presented with particularly challenging technical problems, each time finding solutions and achieving success through their creativity, diverse skillset, innovation, and persistence.
Many of the faces of FMFCS have changed (or aged) over the past 25 years, but the delivery first-class engineering, maintenance, and repair services to the RCN has not changed, and the workforce has maintained the same sense of pride felt all of those years ago. The varying degree of skills found in the offices and shops continue to be invaluable, especially when timelines are tight and repairs are complicated.
With every turn of a wrench, engineering change designed and implemented, and every apprentice and student trained, Fleet Maintenance Facility Cape Scott continues 25 years later to provide unwavering service to the Admiral and the sailors who take the vessels to sea. Happy 25th Anniversary Fleet Maintenance Facility Cape Scott!