HMCS Charlottetown back in Halifax after six months at sea on NATO mission
Charlottetown’s crew had been taking part in Operation REASSURANCE in the Mediterranean Sea, since leaving Halifax in late June.
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HMCS Charlottetown brought the sun with her Friday morning when she pulled into Halifax after six long months at sea.
Charlottetown’s crew had been taking part in Operation REASSURANCE, the Canadian contribution to NATO assurance measures in the Mediterranean Sea, since leaving port in late June. The crew conducted counter-terrorism patrols, commanded ships from Poland, Italy, Denmark and Spain, and monitored a Russian task group off the coast of Syria.
The ship also made stops in Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Scotland, Spain and Turkey.
But there’s no place like home, especially after missing the holidays.
“I’ve never been so happy to see Halifax in my entire life,” said Lt. Adam Vaters after reuniting with his daughter Zara and son Brayden.
Charlottetown’s captain, Cmdr. Andrew Hingston, said it’s always tough being away from home over the holidays. But the crew had Christmas at sea, with secret Santa gift exchanges and a big meal, including a rank switch that resulted in Hingston doing a lot of dishes.
“If I couldn’t be with my family, being with this ship’s company was a strong second best,” Hingston said. “Morale was great.”
Hingston will give up command of the Charlottetown this week, and the ship will head back to the Mediterranean this summer.
“These ships, these workhorses, have the technology, the ruggedness and the versatility and agility to turn around a mission like this and go right back where Canada needs them on station,” said Maritimes Forces Atlantic commander Rear-Admiral John Newton.
HMCS St. John's left on Monday to replace the Charlottetown in the mission, as Newton put it, "to bring stability and security to the eastern Mediterranean and to reassure the NATO alliance.”