The ship and 240-member crew of HMCS St. John’s returned to its home port in Halifax on Monday morning after a six month deployment with NATO allies in Eastern Europe.
HMCS St. John’s left Halifax in January 2017 to join Operation REASSURANCE, which is aimed at promoting security and stability in the region.
During it’s time at sea, the Halifax-based navy frigate took part in large-scale multi-national exercises. Rear Admiral John Newton, Commander Maritime Forces Atlantic, called the mission difficult.
“The ship was busy throughout the deployment. It had some very tough missions in the Black Sea, along the Syrian coast to North Africa and then all they way up to northern Atlantic ocean in the Norwegian sea waters,” Newton said. “[It’s] all about reassuring NATO, the NATO alliance, especially the eastern European nations that NATO stands for all members. And it’s been a touch mission, probably one of the most challenging to date.”
Family members and friends lined the dock on the Halifax waterfront to welcome the return of loved ones aboard the navy ship.
Gabrielle Lambert got the surprise of her life when her boyfriend Tristan LaPointe disembarked. That surprise was a marriage proposal.
“Wow, wow! I don’t have words. I’m really happy,” Lambert said.
“We’ve been together as a couple for seven years now and it was just the right thing to do. I love her. She means the world to me so I thought I would make a big event, a big thing out of this. You deserve it and I love you so much,” said LaPointe, speaking to his soon to be wife.
HMCS St. John’s will be replaced on Operation REASSURANCE by HMCS Charlottetown in early August. This will be HMCS Charlottetown’s second deployment overseas under Operation REASSURANCE
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