October 28, 2022, the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) officially welcomed His Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Margaret Brooke (AOPV-431) into naval service with a commissioning ceremony.
This ceremony marks a significant achievement for both the RCN and the Canadian shipbuilding industry. The introduction of a second Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS) delivered under the National Shipbuilding Strategy, which sustains thousands of jobs annually in Canada, will enhance the RCN’s ability to enforce sovereignty and meet the future defence challenges in Canada’s offshore and Arctic waters.
A ship’s commissioning ceremony is both a long-standing naval tradition, and, a special event for the ship’s company – proud sailors who – have just returned from the ship’s first deployment where they assisted communities in Atlantic Canada affected by Hurricane Fiona.
The commissioning of HMCS Margaret Brooke (AOPV-431) included a symbolic presentation of the commissioning pennant, as well as the symbolic presentation of the «keys to the ship» to the Commanding Officer, Commander Nicole Robichaud.
Specifically designed to patrol Canada’s offshore and Arctic waters, the Harry DeWolf-class AOPS bolsters RCN’s presence in the Arctic and its ability to operate globally protecting Canada’s interests at home and abroad.
The AOPS also augments Canada’s presence offshore, and will be capable of conducting a wide variety of operations abroad.
This is the first time in its 111-year history that the RCN is naming a class after a prominent Canadian Navy figure, Harry DeWolf. The remainder in the class will be named to honour other prominent Royal Canadian Navy heroes who served their country with the highest distinction.
HMCS Margaret Brooke (AOPV-431) is named in honour of Lieutenant-Commander Margaret Brooke, an RCN Nursing Sister decorated for gallantry during the Second World War for her actions followed the torpedoing and subsequent sinking of the Newfoundland ferry SS Caribou in 1942.
HMCS Margaret Brooke (AOPV-431), was launched in fall 2019, and delivered to the RCN in July 2021.
HMCS Margaret Brooke (AOPV-431) has already been hard-at-work, deploying on Operation NANOOK in August 2022, and on Operation LENTUS in September 2022.