HMCS Charlottetown in Croatia

The boarding party of HMCS Charlottetown practices its skills of boarding and securing a vessel during Operation REASSURANCE on October 14, 2017. Photo: Cpl J.W.S. Houck, FIS Halifax

HMCS Charlottetown completes successful Rest and Maintenance Period in Split, Croatia

By Lt(N) Meghan Jacques,
HMCS Charlottetown Unit Public Affairs Representative

HMC) Charlottetown, currently deployed on Operation REASSURANCE in the Eastern Mediterranean, conducted a Rest and Maintenance Period (RAMP) in Split, Croatia from October 15, 2017 to November 7, 2017 to support its continued deployment overseas into the New Year.

The purpose of a RAMP for a deployed ship is twofold: it provides the opportunity for members of the ship’s company to take mission leave, and allows for the conduct of essential maintenance. Ships need rest periods while deployed because there is some maintenance that cannot be done while machinery is operating.

Some tasks require technical experts that are not part of the core crew of a deploying warship. Over 30 support staff from Halifax, Nova Scotia and a number of Croatian civilian contractors – hired through the Royal Canadian Navy – were present onboard to enable the completion of the major projects scheduled for the maintenance period.

According to SLt Taylor Donovan, a Marine Systems Engineer in Charlottetown, “one of the hardest parts of the RAMP was managing major projects with minimal ship staff ensuring that members were available to support the repair facility as required.”

Overall, the maintenance period required coordination between multiple outside agencies in order to be successful.  The weekly shipboard planning meetings to coordinate the RAMP started as early as August 2017, just after the ship departed Halifax.

The most notable maintenance project was the replacement of Diesel Generator No. 1: one of four generators that comprise the Power Generation and Distribution system onboard Charlottetown.

With the help of embarked support staff, Charlottetown’s engineering department also rebuilt a coupling of the ship’s cruising engine and the Standby Assembly.

In addition to the work completed during the maintenance period, Charlottetown also had an opportunity to take advantage of the port visit to showcase the strength of Canadian-Croatian relations.

RAdm Craig Baines, the Commander of Maritime Forces Atlantic, visited Charlottetown and its Commanding Officer, Cdr Nathan Decicco, upon arrival in Croatia in October. Together, RAdm Baines and Cdr Decicco hosted embassy guests as well as the head of the Croatian Navy, RAdm Petranovic, for a reception onboard Charlottetown on October 16.

Charlottetown‘s Enhanced Naval Boarding Party and Dive Teams both conducted cross-training with teams from the Croatian Navy, and members of the crew participated in Croatian Defence industry equipment demonstrations and presentations.

As an occasion to strengthen bilateral relations and provide a critical rest and maintenance opportunity, Charlottetown’s recent RAMP has ensured that the ship and crew remain ready to continue with NATO assurance and deterrence measures as part of Operation REASSURANCE.