New Coxswain for HMCS Halifax after a banner year

From left, CPO1 Carlos Esquivel, Cdr Kyle Redshaw, and CPO1 Shawn Swinimer sign the official documents at the HMCS Halifax Change of Appointment ceremony at Juno Tower on April 14.

New Coxswain for HMCS Halifax after a banner year 

By Ryan Melanson,
Trident Staff

The outgoing Coxswain of HMCS Halifax said things felt bittersweet as he spoke at a Change of Appointment ceremony at Juno Tower on April 14. Over nearly two years in the role, he saw the development of a tight-knit unit, and described close relationships with members of the crew.

“It makes it much more difficult to move on from this posting. The sailors have taught me so much, and I hope they’ve learned a bit from me as well,” CPO1 Carlos Esquivel said.

His tenure as Cox’n coincided with a busy program from HMCS Halifax, highlighted by a nearly five month deployment to Operation Reassurance in early 2022. Halifax’s involvement in the mission was unexpected and came as part of Canada’s response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Halifax was awarded the 2022 Admiral’s Cup largely because of the ship’s success on that deployment.

But CPO1 Esquivel focused more on lauding his crew than recounting operations from his time with the command team, and said his daily interactions with the team as he made his rounds, whether through the ship or later the shore office, will be missed the most.

“That’s what I like to do, just going around to make sure everyone is safe and ok, to talk with the crew and learn from them, hear their likes and dislikes and concerns and issues. It was always important to me that the crew felt I was a member of the team, not just someone with authority.”

Cdr Kyle Redshaw, Halifax’s Commanding Officer, thanked CPO1 Esquivel for his infectious professionalism and enthusiasm through the last two years, and also took the opportunity to welcome his new Cox’n, CPO1 Shawn Swinimer, to the team.

CPO1 Swinimer joined the Royal Canadian Navy as a Sonar Operator more than 25 years ago, and said he’s humbled to be in the position. Despite current difficulties with recruitment and op tempo, he added that spending time with his new crew has left him feeling optimistic.

“I’ve only been in Halifax for a short period of time, but I’ve seen folks do amazing things, and I’ve seen some awesome professionalism,” CPO1 Swinimer said.

“I’m privileged to be in this position as Cox’n for HMCS Halifax. This is an honour that has been bestowed upon me and I’m very cognisant of the important role I’ll be playing on board the ship.”