Lengthy naval career drawing to a close for West Coast navy’s admiral

New admiral returns to CFB Esquimalt to assume West Coast naval command

Outgoing commander of Maritime Forces Pacific and Joint Task Force Pacific

Though unplanned, it proved fitting that the outgoing commander of West Coast naval operations included a salute to Canada’s flagship submarine in his goodbyes.

Rear-Admiral Nigel Greenwood handed over command of Maritime Forces Pacific and Joint Task Force Pacific to Rear-Admiral Bill Truelove at CFB Esquimalt on Monday.

“Such a pleasure to see Victoria sailing out of this harbour on cue, and that’s the way it’s going to happen from here on in,” Greenwood told invited guests.

After five years in the shop, HMCS Victoria returned to sea early last year, under Greenwood’s watch. On Monday, he watched it cut smoothly towards the Strait of Juan de Fuca, another step towards full operational status.

“She’s going to give lie to all those passive doubters who thought we couldn’t do it. As a navy, we’ll prove them wrong, again and again. To my mind, Victoria represents our navy – small and powerful, deployable and potent – and that’s the kind of reputation we have around the world here.”

Greenwood also hinted at the difficulty in retiring after a fulfilling 37-year naval career. “I’ve seen other admirals pass this podium before in a similar circumstance. There’s one thing they don’t tell you about swallowing the anchor, it tends to get stuck in your throat.”

Truelove, a Nova Scotia native, is taking on a role that involves enormous responsibility. As commander of Maritime Forces Pacific, he will be in control of Canadian maritime forces in the Pacific Ocean. As commander of Joint Task Force Pacific, he can give the order to deploy military personnel to domestic emergencies in B.C.

He will also be responsible for search-and-rescue response in B.C. and the Yukon, and for the Cadet organization in B.C.

“I’m not sure how it could feel any better than this,” Truelove said, as Greenwood, Vice-Admiral Paul Maddison, commander of the Royal Canadian Navy; and Lt.-Gen. Walter Semianiw, commander of Canada Command, looked on.

Truelove, who joined the military in 1981, brings a wealth of experience to the position. He recently returned from a nine-month deployment in Afghanistan.

Truelove has served on the West Coast before, as commanding officer of HMCS Regina, from 2001 to 2003, and the Naval Officer Training Centre until 2004.

“I am excited to be taking the helm as we move through the next phase of transformation across the Canadian Forces, while also navigating a complex period of fleet renewal,” he said, “and at the same time, ensuring that this formation remains as it always has – ‘ready aye ready’ to respond when called upon by our nation.”

emccracken@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Executive chef hosts National Honey Bee Day in Langford

The Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort and spa lost all of their honey bees last year

UPDATED: Materials linked to 1992 Colwood murder found at construction site in Metchosin

West Shore RCMP investigating to determine if relevant to the old case

Vancouver Island woman to attempt historic swim across Juan de Fuca Strait today

Ultra-marathon swimmer Susan Simmons to attempt to swim from Victoria to Port Angeles and back

PHOTOS: B.C. city wakes up to darkness under wildfire smoke

The rest of the province also dealing with thick haze as smoky skies continue

Five things to do in Greater Victoria this weekend

Puppy yoga, horses, cars, water guns and more make up this weekend’s list of events to see

44 drownings so far this year in B.C.

Lifesaving Society urging caution to prevent deaths while on lakes, oceans and in pools

Some of B.C.’s air quality levels worse than Jodhpur, India

Okanagan, northern B.C. seeing some of the worst air quality globally

Thousands to attend funeral service for officers killed in Fredericton shooting

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

VIDEO: Ground crews keep a close eye on largest B.C. wildfire

Originally estimated to be 79,192 hectares, officials said more accurate mapping shows smaller size

Canadians believe in immigration but concerned about asylum seekers: study

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada paid for study to understand Canadian attitudes

These are the highest-paid actresses of 2018

In its list released this week Forbes said all 10 earned a total of $186 million before tax

VIDEO: Fires break out in scrap piles at mill on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo firefighters got blazes under control in early morning hours Saturday at Harmac Pacific

Most Read