By Ryan Melanson
Canada’s first Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS) spent much of October and November 2020 at sea, conducting readiness training and trialing new capabilities.
The ship departed Halifax on November 13 to circumnavigate Newfoundland, where it also visited ports outside of Nova Scotia for the first time, beginning with three days at anchor near Conception Bay South from November 16-18.
The ship and its crew are continuing with an intensive trials and training program that has it on track to be commissioned and fully deployable by the summer of 2021. One focus on this particular trip was to introduce the long range over-the-horizon capabilities of the new Multi-Role Rescue Boats and the ship’s landing craft.
“This is establishing a new “away team” concept that will give significant reach to any domestic patrol,” said Cdr Corey Gleason, HMCS Harry DeWolf’s Commanding Officer. He added that these successful trials were in addition to ship handling, turning and speed trials, along with crane and rigging tests, which were completed earlier this fall.
The two-week trip also included a chance to work with members of the 5th Canadian Ranger Patrol Group while sailing near the community of Bonavista, as well as an at-sea memorial for the victims who died aboard the SS Caribou, a passenger ferry sunk by a German submarine just off Port-aux-Basques in October 1942. There was a short stop in St. John’s on November 24 to embark Cmdre…