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New ship christened for Canada’s Navy fleet 

The Royal Canadian Navy unveiled the official naming of the Harry DeWolf, during a ceremony at Irving Shipbuilding’s Halifax Shipyard earlier this month. It is the first ship built under the Arctic and offshore patrol ship (AOPS) project.

Construction of the future HMCS Harry DeWolf started in 2015 and sea trials will begin in 2019.  This is the first time in its 108-year history that the Royal Canadian Navy is naming a class after a prominent Canadian Navy figure. 

Named by its sponsor, Madame Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, during the ceremony, the Harry DeWolf is named in honour of wartime Canadian naval hero Vice Admiral Harry DeWolf. In celebration, Trudeau broke a bottle of Nova Scotia Traditional Method Sparkling Wine against the ship’s bow and participating in Navy Tradition declared: “I name you Harry DeWolf. Bénit soit ce navire ainsi que tous les hommes et femmes naviguant à son bord.”

“I am excited to serve as the sponsor and for the honour of officially naming Harry DeWolf after such an incredible Canadian. I look forward to connecting with the ship’s company and their families and to continuing to hear about their triumphs as they embark upon this new chapter in our Navy’s proud history,” says Grégoire Trudeau

The ceremony for the future HMCS Harry DeWolf was also attended by Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility Carla Qualtrough, President of the Treasury Board Scott Brison, Vice-Admiral Ron Lloyd, Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy, members of the DeWolf family, the ship’s company and thousands of Halifax Shipyard shipbuilders.

“Our government is delivering on our commitment in our defence policy Strong, Secure, Engaged to provide our Royal Canadian Navy with the capabilities it needs to serve Canadians. Today’s naming ceremony marks another successful milestone for Canadian shipbuilding. The new Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships will provide our dedicated sailors with equipment that enhances their ability to safeguard our national interests and keep Canadians strong at home and engaged in the world,” said Sajjan.

The Harry DeWolf-class will be capable of armed sea-borne surveillance of Canada’s waters, providing the government with situational awareness of activities and events in these regions. 

Five more ships will be built in the AOPS, with the possibility of a sixth. They will be named in honour of other prominent Canadians who served with the highest distinction in the Navy.

Construction of the HMCS Margaret Brooke and Max Bernays, is already underway at the Halifax Shipyard, with the construction of the future HMCS William Hall, to start in the coming months. 

“Vice-Admiral DeWolf is a fitting namesake for this new class. Renowned for his bold vision, leadership and fighting spirit, he sailed HMCS Haida – now flagship of the Royal Canadian Navy – on a series of Arctic convoys during the Second World War. The Harry DeWolf-class will be an incredible capability for our Navy that builds on this legacy of excellence. Our presence in Canada’s North will be extended, and our ability to support a breadth of global operations will be enhanced. Today is an exciting day that brings us one step closer to tomorrow’s future fleet,” said Vice-Admiral Ron Lloyd, Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy

This ceremony is just one of many celebratory events that will be held for the Harry DeWolf-class over the next several years.

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Paige LeClair

As a recent graduate from the St. Thomas University Journalism program, Paige has a passion for storytelling and investigative journalism. In 2016, she, along with her journalism team were awarded first place at the Emerge Media Awards in the multimedia category. The team was also a finalist at the Canadian Association of Journalist Awards. She is excited to work with other military spouses providing stories and information to the military community. Paige is newly married to Andrew, a Lineman, and moved to their first posting in Petawawa in May of this year. She is excited to begin this journey with Andrew, their dog Diablo, and cat, Linux

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