HMCS Winnipeg sails in to CFB Esquimalt just in time for the holidays

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HMCS Winnipeg sailed into the port at CFB Esquimalt after four months at sea on Thursday.

Dozens of people lined the dock, holding homemade signs as they welcomed home loved ones just in time for the holidays.

“It’s been a long four months, we’re so proud and so excited to welcome him home and start our festivities for Christmas,” said one mother awaiting her husband’s arrival.

Others were also looking forward to making up for lost time, especially with dad.

“Spending Christmas with him, giving him the presents that we made, and wrapping gifts with him,” said Mason, Carter and Taylor, who were waiting patiently for their dad to get off the ship.

The crew was deployed in the Indo-Pacific on operations PROJECTION and NEON, transiting over three thousand nautical miles. During its time in the area, the ship conducted training, exercises and engagements with foreign nations and other international security partners. As well as supporting the implementation of United Nations Security Council sanctions imposed against North Korea.

“For me personally and for pretty much I can guarantee every single member of my crew, it’s a once in a lifetime experience as a Canadian to be able to work with such a huge awesome display of power,” says Cdr. Doug Layton, Commanding Officer of HMCS Winnipeg.

The deployment, however, wasn’t just strictly business. The ship hosted a German naval officer on exchange and also provided several crates of earl grey tea to the Royal Navy’s HMS Queen Elizabeth, ensuring they did not run out. Making it a very memorable first deployment for some.

“It was very exciting, like right out the door from training I got posted to Winnipeg, it was definitely exciting and a very new experience,” says Lt. Lyann Murdock-Finegold.

As children welcomed home their heroes, they were also awarded medals of their very own for their support and strength over the last four months.

Hannah LepineHannah Lepine

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