Above Image: HMCS HALIFAX sets sail to join HMCS MONTREAL for Operation REASSURANCE, as part of Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG 1) in support of NATO assurance and deterrence measures in Central and Eastern Europe on 19 March 2022. Photo by: Mona Ghiz, MARLANT Public Affairs, DND.
The Commanding Officer of a Royal Canadian Navy ship is being temporarily relieved of his duties following reports of several incidents taking place on board.
According to a Canadian Armed Forces press release, an investigation has been launched to investigate incidents aboard Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Halifax during Operation Reassurance. The incidents took place onboard the ship during a port visit in Swinoujscie, Poland. However, they do not concern any sexual misconduct or harmful or inappropriate sexual behaviour.
“This measure was deemed necessary to ensure the investigation can unfold while HMCS Halifax continues its deployment with Standing NATO Maritime Group 1,” read a statement released by the Canadian Armed Forces.
According to the statement, the relived Commanding Officer will serve other roles within Maritime Forces Atlantic Headquarters in Canada until the conclusion of the investigation.
“All individuals are presumed innocent until proven otherwise. Procedural fairness remains a priority and is respected throughout all Canadian Armed Forces investigations and administrative processes.”
In the meantime, Commander Paul Mountford, the Commanding Officer of HMCS Charlottetown, has assumed command of HMCS Halifax in the interim.
He will continue Halifax’s deployment until the end of the deployment, with the ship scheduled to return home to Halifax, N.S., in mid-July. The ship’s company has been informed of this decision.