The past six years has seen a transformation take place at the Royal Canadian Navy’s Esquimalt Naval Base. With the National Shipbuilding Strategy well underway, the RCN has been making significant investments into the infrastructure that will be needed to accommodate the new vessels. It is this modernization program that serves as a backdrop to the regular activities of the base, not the least of which includes ongoing vessel maintenance programs, preparations for RIMPAC, implementation of a new training regime, and of course, protecting Canada’s interests at home and abroad.
Photo above: Rendering of the future A/B Jetties at CFB Esquimalt (by Amec Foster Wheeler and Stantec).
In listening to Rear Admiral Gilles Couturier, Commander, Pacific Mari-time Forces, explain all of the initiatives, one quickly realizes that this is an exciting time for the Royal Canadian Navy.
RAdm Couturier assumed command of Maritime Forces Pacific/Joint Task Force Pacific on July 14, 2015. His 30-plus-year career with the RCN has seen such highlights as command of HMCS Fredericton while she was deployed to the coast of Africa for Operation CHABANEL, an RCMP operation that resulted in the seizure of 22.5 tonnes of hashish bound for the east coast of Canada; Maritime Component Commander for OPERATION PODIUM during the Vancouver Olympics; and Maritime Component Commander for RIMPAC 2014.
While command of Maritime Forces Pacific typically runs for two years, RAdm Couturier will be moving to Ottawa this summer to become the Deputy Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy and, as he puts it, “continuing to help to shape the future.”
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