At the beginning of 2012, HMCS Charlottetown, together with HNMLS De Ruyter and FGS Rheinland Pfalz, formed the core element of Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1). Deployed in the Mediterranean Sea, the Group conducted three patrols under Operation Active Endeavour (OAE), NATO’s response to the threat of global terrorism.
While Cdre Ben Bekkering, Commander of SNMG1 moved on to HNLMS Evertsen to take over Command of Operation Ocean Shield, HMCS Charlottetown left the Group to take on national taskings before undertaking operations as part of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) in Bahrain. At the weekend, with both ships being in the Gulf of Aden, it offered the opportunity for Cdre Bekkering to present former colleagues with NATO’s Active Endeavour medal.
In his address to the crew before presenting the crew with their medals, Cdre Bekkering stated he was very pleased to see the ship again after four months out of the Group. Her participation in major exercises and maritime security operations were not only a clear demonstration of the Charlottetown’s versatility but also of the dedication and skill of her crew.
“OAE may not receive the same attention as my current operation, Ocean Shield, but like the latter it aims to ensure free passage of maritime trade through vital waters”, explained Cdre Bekkering. “Like the Gulf of Aden, the Mediterranean Sea is a major transport route and Charlottetown gave it her best to ensure the aim was met. It is nothing more than appropriate that her crew receives the medal today.”
HMCS Charlottetown will soon start her transit home. She is expected back in her homeport of Halifax in mid September after more than 8 months away.
This article was posted by Neptune Maritime Security. MaritimeSecurity.Asia in cooperation with www.neptunemaritimesecurity.com