With a cool breeze hanging over the docks in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, the HMCS Goose Bay made its final port of call before heading to Halifax where she will be dry docked for the next two years. The vessel went out to the bay where it practised recovery of a man-overboard as well as maneuvers to protect the ship and what is known as high value assets such as other military vessels or private vessels and even the coastline.
“If we detect a threat that was coming from the stern (back of the ship) you ask yourself how can we protect the high value asset when our 50 calibre gun and machine guns are at the front to the ship? “ said Lieutenant Commander Kray Robichaud.
The ship has the ability to swing 360 degrees and bring its weapons, which are on the front of the ship, to face the hostilities that may be in the area.
LCdr. Robichaud says it was great for him to bring the Goose Bay into its namesake body of water, especially since the ship will be going out of service to have upgrades and repairs done on her.
“It was a really wonderful experience to be able to pull into Happy Valley-Goose Bay and every opportunity I have had with talking to members of the community, I have been telling the story we are finally here.”
He says when he was told he was binging the ship to its namesake town, he came ahead of time to meet with the Mayor and town officials to get an idea of what Happy Valley-Goose Bay was like.
“I also looked Happy Valley-Goose Bay up on Google so I could get a better appreciation of the bodies of water we would have to travel through to get into Happy Valley-Goose Bay.”
LCdr. Robichaud said when the Goose Bay returns to Halifax on Sept. 4 the ship will be dry docked for two years as the Goose Bay get much need upgrades.
“It is interesting when we return on Sept. 4, it will be 15 years to the day that the HMCS Goose Bay was launched. It brings a tear to my eye that commanding the ship for little over a year, to know we will be transporting the hull of the ship (contents and crew) over to the war ship Glace Bay, where the Goose Bay will be getting a much deserved rest,” he said.
LCdr. Robichaud says since his command of the Goose Bay, the ship has travelled the equivalent of one and half times around the earth and has made the trek to the Arctic twice for manovers.
“We have travelled up the St. Lawrence Seaway up to the Great Lakes, as far as the Detroit River, and as far south as the Southern Caribbean.”
The HMCS Goose Bay is a Kingston-class coastal defence vessel that has served in the Canadian Forces and was launched in 1998.
Goose Bay is the eighth ship of her class which is the name for the Maritime Coastal Defence Vessel Project. She is the first vessel to use the designation HMCS Goose Bay.
Goose Bay was built at the at Halifax Shipyards Ltd., Halifax and was launched on September 4, 1997. She was officially commissioned into the CF on 26 July 1998 and carries the pennant number 707.
Currently the HMCS Goose Bay is assigned to Maritime Forces Atlantic (MARLANT) and is home ported at CFB Halifax.