Second Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship Commissioned into Service
His Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Margaret Brooke was commissioned into service in October, marking the completion and delivery of the second highly anticipated Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS).
A ceremony was held in Halifax, NS, on Oct. 28 to mark the commissioning of HMCS Margaret Brooke into naval service.
“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 thank its officers and crew, for all of their efforts and dedication in service of Canada,” said Anita Anand, Minister of National Defence.
A Cherished Tradition
According to the Royal Canadian Navy, a ship’s commissioning ceremony is a “long-standing naval tradition and a special event for the ship’s company.”
“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,” said VAdm. Angus Topshee, Commander of the RCN.
According to a press release from the Department of National Defence (DND), the commissioning ceremony included a symbolic presentation of the commissioning pennant and a symbolic presentation of the “keys to the ship” to the commanding officer of HMCS Margaret Brooke, 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,” said Robichaud.
The ship, launched in 2019 and delivered in July 2021, was named after Lieutenant-Commander Margaret Brooke, an RCN nurse who performed gallantly in the wake of the torpedoing and sinking of the Newfoundland ferry SS Caribou in 1942.
HMCS Margaret Brooke has already proven its worth by serving on several deployments, including Operation NANOOK in August and Operation LENTUS in September.
This is the first time in Royal Canadian Navy history that an entire class has been named after a prominent Canadian Navy figure, Harry DeWolf, according to DND. The Harry DeWolf-class AOPS is expected to bolster the RCN’s presence in the Arctic and throughout the world.
Two ships have been delivered to the RCN, and the remainder will be delivered over the next few years.The AOPS are delivered under the National Shipbuilding Strategy, which according to DND, sustains thousands of jobs in Canada.