NRU Asterix receives unit patch
By PO1 Stephan Handerek,
Naval Replenishment Unit ASTERIX
In late July the crew of NRU Asterix were encouraged to create an original piece of art that would become the unit patch for Canada’s newest asset. NRU Asterix’s CO, LCdr Jason Walsh, received multiple submissions from the crew each accompanied with an explanation to their significance. Of the designs submitted one stood out amongst all others, not only for its detailed artwork but for the thought that went into how the design related to the operational capability Asterix will afford the RCN and CAF.
MV Asterix is a converted commercial container ship owned and operated by Federal Fleet Services that will serve as an interim AOR for the Royal Canadian Navy. Canadian Forces Mission Specialist (CAF MS) will embark Asterix, which may be tasked to fulfil multiple roles on behalf of the Government of Canada, from replenishments at sea to humanitarian assistance.
On November 16, VAdm Ron Lloyd, Commander RCN, officially approved the design submitted by LS Patey, LS Williams and AB Williams as the unit patch for the NRU.
The three boatswains worked on the concept together. The patch depicts an ancient Germanic warrior with two swords and a horn on a background of blue and white waves. The two swords represent the ability to support naval operations during peacetime and wartime sailing. The sheathed sword specifically represents the ship’s ability to support in times of crisis and the unsheathed sword represents the fact that Asterix can support Canada and her allies while deployed. The horn symbolizes the call for support that Asterix will answer when supporting all three elements of the CAF while the gold shield represents a symbol of light in the darkness, and the protection given to Canadians and her allies by Asterix’s mixed crew of CAF MS and civilian staff.
The unit patch will be worn by all CAF MS posted to NRU Asterix in place of a traditional ship’s crest. As NRU Asterix is not a commissioned Navy ship, the unit patch does not have the distinctive shape associated with commissioned ships’ crests.