Twenty-three cadets from 54 Admiral DeWolf Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps (RCSCC) in Campbell River had a once in a lifetime opportunity to sail in a Royal Canadian Navy frigate on Saturday, April 9, during a training weekend in Victoria.
The Campbell River cadets joined more than 200 other sea cadets from around Vancouver Island and the 225 crew members of HMCS Ottawa (above) for a day at sea.
“This has been the best experience ever! I’ve learned so much about the Navy today and I’m so proud to be a sea cadet,” said Cadet Ordinary Seaman Ethan Jewell, 54 RCSCC.
The crew and cadets put the ship through its paces at full speed, up to 30 knots, and heeling over 25-30 degrees during manoeuvers.
During the day, cadets spent time with sailors at 13 different activity stations learning the various functions of daily life and the rhythm of a Canadian warship including weapons, fire-fighting, navigation and command, operations, boarding and rescue.
On Sunday, all cadets were inspected by Rear-Admiral Gilles Couturier, Commander Maritime Forces Pacific during an Admiral’s Ceremonial Divisions parade.
The parade included a massed band as well as several promotions and recognitions.
“The Cadet Program helps thousands of young people grow into well-rounded, community-minded and experienced young adults. Spending time with these great young Canadians and future leaders of this country has truly been inspiring and I want to personally thank everyone involved in supporting our cadets and making this program a success in every way possible,” said Rear-Admiral Couturier, Commander Maritime Forces Pacific.
HMCS Ottawa recently completed its Halifax-class Modernization / Frigate Life Extension upgrade last year and is continuing with sea trials to prepare for future operations and exercises.
The Royal Canadian Sea, Army and Air Cadets are national programs for youth ages 12 to18, which aim to develop in youth the attributes of good citizenship and leadership, promote physical fitness and stimulate the interest of youth in the sea, land and air activities of the Canadian Armed Forces.
The programs are delivered by the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces in partnership with the civilian Navy League, and Army and Air Cadet Leagues of Canada.
There are 1,200 sea cadets in BC and 8,000 across Canada.
Sea cadets have the opportunity to earn Canadian Sailing Association qualifications and have unique opportunities to sail on RCN ships, tall ships, attend summer camps and participate in international exchanges.
Cadet Olivia Holling from 54 RCSCC in Campbell River was promoted to the rank of Leading Seaman by Rear-Admiral Gilles Couturier, Commander Maritime Forces Pacific (MARPAC) and CPO1 Mike Feltham, MARPAC Formation Chief on Sunday April 10 at a ceremonial parade at CFB Esquimalt.