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CMSS Fellow Dr. Rob Huebert shares his latest expedition.


Just completed an amazing trip. I was privileged to have to the opportunity to sail in both the HMCS Windsor and HMCS Toronto on December 14-15. Along with five Members of Parliament, I was given the rare opportunity to sail on a fully operational Canadian submarine. Under the very able command of Commander Peter Chu we were privileged to spend an entire day at sea. (I had first met the Commander when I sailed with HMCS Algonquin from Sasebo to Pearl Harbour back in 2000. He was of course a more junior officer then.) We were shown the amazing capabilities of these vessels including how a submarine dives and is able to avoid detection from other assets including the HMCS Glace Bay, a Cyclone Helicopter and an Aurora! (It was cool to actually being pinged as these units attempted to find us!) It was clear to all of us that these submarines are both an integral and important element of the Canadian Navy.

We were then transferred to the HMCS Toronto under the command of Commander Archer. This was the first time I have visited a post-Felex (Frigate Life Extension) Frigate. It was clear that the modernization has been a major success and our frigates are even that much more capable. We were allowed to fire a 50 caliber machine gun; take part in the defence against a small boat; and were shown actions stations including being allowed to put on the full fire-fighting equipment. As if this was not enough Commodore Craig Skjerpen (whom I think I also meet for the first time sailing on HMCS Algonquin) was also on board and provided all of us with an excellent overview of just how important and capable our navy along with showing his clear pride in the women and men under his command. Needless to say at the end of it all, I am exhausted! However, it was an amazing experience and reaffirms to me both how capable our navy is and how critically important it is to Canadian national security!

- Rob Huebert