Outgoing HMCS Goose Bay CO pushed boundaries of MCDV platform
By Ryan Melanson,
In the 19 months since LCdr Emily Lambert took over as Commanding Officer of HMCS Summerside, she and her crew conducted 20 port visits in the United States, Europe and West Africa, crossed the Atlantic four times, and participated in a number of different operations and exercises with NATO and other allies.
“What a fantastic run it has been,” LCdr Lambert said as she spoke to the ship’s company at her outgoing Change of Command Ceremony on March 15. The crew recently transitioned to HMCS Goose Bay, but Summerside was the platform that took them to ports in West Africa on Operation PROJECTION, to Exercise BOLD ALLIGATOR off Jacksonville, Florida, and through the Norwegian Fjords during Exercise TRIDENT JUNCTURE, among other taskings.
The departing CO thanked her Coxn and two different XOs for the support during her command, and praised the entire crew of Goose Bay, formerly Summerside, for showing professionalism at all times, building interoperability with foreign counterparts, and being strong representatives of the RCN when hosting dignitaries and interacting with communities in foreign countries.
Thanks to the work of her crew in developing a strong reputation for the ship, LCdr Lambert said she was able to experience the highlight of her naval career this past November. It came following Summerside`s participation in Exercise TRIDENT JUNCTURE, when the ship joined Standing NATO Maritime Counter Measure Group 1 for a brief period.
“Because of our ability and professionalism at sea, we were proud to be given the role of Duty Commanding Officer ship for the few days we were there,” she said.
“Our allies were really impressed with the ship’s company and the crew did great work showing what Canada can bring to NATO.”
LCdr Lambert also expressed pride in what Summerside achieved during its deployment to Op PROJECTION 2018, operating in the Gulf of Guinea region alongside HMCS Kingston. The ships visited Senegal, Ghana, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire and other West African nations, and along with supporting the training of partner navies and Coast Guards in the region, they conducted community engagement visits and participated in events marking International Women’s Day.
“We were able to talk to a number of young women from different countries in Africa, and hopefully we helped inspire them to become leaders and make positive change in their own countries,” she said.
While the Change of Command ceremony was an occasion to celebrate the ship’s successes under LCdr Lambert, it also marked a welcome for new CO LCdr Daniel Rice, and the official transfer of the immense responsibility of commanding an RCN vessel.
LCdr Rice comes to Goose Bay with plenty of MCDV experience, having served as the XO of HMC ships Summerside, Shawinigan, and Kingston, as well as the Operations Officer aboard Glace Bay. He was most recently posted to Sea Training Atlantic as Executive Officer for Minor War Vessels.
“This is a journey that’s taken a lot of years, a lot of encouragement, mentorship and support, and I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to receive all that,” he said, thanking the colleagues and former mentors who were in attendance, as well as his wife Michelle and son Maxwell. He also thanked LCdr Lambert for her ongoing support as a colleague and friend, and for ending her command with the large task of transitioning the crew to a new ship.
As Goose Bay gets set for a busy summer of sailing, LCdr Rice said he plans to continue to set the standard for the MCDV fleet.
“It’s a fine looking ship and crew; I couldn’t be happier to assume command.”