Solution for HCM Modernization
While the Royal Navy in the U.K. is bringing on board sailors from Canada, the U.S., France and New Zealand to help it with its shortage in engineering positions because of cutbacks, the RCN has also brought in a relatively new program to deal with the downside of the Halifax-class modernization program.
This upgrade was limiting at-sea experience for some sailors as the ships were brought into port for modernization. Enter the REGULUS program which was started in 2010.
“REGULUS is about getting young men and women of the RCN to sea during a period of reduced sailing opportunities,” said Lieutenant (Navy) Arthur Halpenny, REGULUS Personnel Coordinator. Through personnel exchanges with friendly navies around the world, Canadian sailors hone their skills and gain valuable international experience while working on board foreign vessels, strengthening the RCN’s core competencies.
Since the REGULUS’ inception in 2010, more than 150 RCN personnel have been sent abroad to countries such as the United States, New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Chile. “The exchanges are mutually beneficial. If possible, we’ll place our sailors in billets that the partner navy may have trouble filling. Partner navies, in turn, often seek RCN training once they witness the talent and professionalism of our sailors.”
Sub-Lieutenant Chris Sulyma participated in an exchange with the Chilean Navy in April 2014, and found himself on board an auxiliary patrol ship tasked with fishery patrol, lighthouse resupply and search and rescue operations off Chile’s southern coast. “I found the Chilean officers and crew to be extremely friendly, eager to help, and genuinely curious about Canadian culture,” said SLt Sulyma. “The ship itself helped us celebrate Canada Day, and the local restaurant went so far as to learn how to make poutine for us…we also celebrated the ups and mourned the downs of Chile’s soccer team in its drive for the World Cup.”
SLt Sulyma working with the Chilean Navy.