Yesterday, the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) officially welcomed His Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Margaret Brooke into naval service with a commissioning ceremony.
This ceremony marks a significant achievement for both the RCN and the Canadian shipbuilding industry. The introduction of a second Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS) delivered under the National Shipbuilding Strategy, which sustains thousands of jobs annually in Canada, will enhance the RCN’s ability to enforce sovereignty and meet the future defence challenges in Canada’s offshore and Arctic waters.
“HMCS Margaret Brooke and the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships enable the Royal Canadian Navy to patrol and protect Canada’s sovereignty in our offshore and Arctic waters, bringing enhanced presence and awareness to this important region. These modern ships bring new capabilities to Canada’s prosperity, defence and security. As the ship is commissioned today, I extend my congratulations to HMCS Margaret Brooke, and thankits officers and crew, for all of their efforts and dedication in service of Canada.”The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of National Defence
A ship’s commissioning ceremony is both a long-standing naval tradition, and, a special event for the ship’s company – proud sailors who – have just returned from the ship’s first deployment where they assisted communities in Atlantic Canada affected by Hurricane Fiona.
“Welcoming a ship into service with the Royal Canadian Navy is a major milestone. Today, we celebrate with time-honoured tradition the hard work and dedication of the Margaret Brooke’s crew. The Commanding Officer and crew have successfully completed months of trials and readiness training and recently proved their readiness to support Canadians through their contributions to Hurricane Fiona relief efforts. This class of ship enables the Navy to expand its presence throughout our Arctic and around the globe.”Vice-Admiral Angus Topshee, Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy
The commissioning of HMCS Margaret Brooke included a symbolic presentation of the commissioning pennant, as well as the symbolic presentation of the “keys to the ship” to the Commanding Officer, Commander Nicole Robichaud.
“Today’s commissioning ceremony truly is the culmination of the effort and dedication that our ship’s crew has put forth leading up to today. The commissioning of a ship is symbolic, and although we have been tirelessly at work for many months including our deployment on Operation NANOOK and Operation LENTUS – today’s ceremony is significant as HMCS Margaret Brooke flies its commissioning pennant and is welcomed to the fleet. For all of the sailors who have served onboard this incredible ship, this is an exciting and emotional day.”Commander Nicole Robichaud, Commanding Officer, HMCS Margaret Brooke
· Specifically designed to patrol Canada’s offshore and Arctic waters, the Harry DeWolf-class AOPS bolsters RCN’s presence in the Arctic and its ability to operate globally protecting Canada’s interests at home and abroad.
· The AOPS also augments Canada’s presence offshore, and will be capable of conducting a wide variety of operations abroad.
· This is the first time in its 111-year history that the RCN is naming a class after a prominent Canadian Navy figure, Harry DeWolf. The remainder in the class will be named to honour other prominent Royal Canadian Navy heroes who served their country with the highest distinction.
· HMCS Margaret Brooke is named in honour of Lieutenant-Commander Margaret Brooke, a RCN Nursing Sister decorated for gallantry during the Second World War for her actions followed the torpedoing and subsequent sinking of the Newfoundland ferry SS Caribou in 1942.
· HMCS Margaret Brooke, was launched in fall 2019, and delivered to the RCN in July 2021.
· HMCS Margaret Brooke has already been hard-at-work, deploying on Operation NANOOK in August 2022, and on Operation LENTUS in September 2022.