Posted on Nov 06, 2019
Cdr Cory Foreman, Base Administration Officer at CFB Esquimalt helped us reflect on our past by recounting the history of Canadian service, and informed us about our Navy today; who they are, and what they do, both at home and around the world.  He ended by telling us a bit about CFB Esquimalt, the third largest employer in the CRD.  
On Monday, thousands of Canadians will gather at cenotaphs and ceremonies across the country to remember and honour those who have stood bravely in defense of our country and our values.  Since confederation, over 2 million Canadian men and women have served in the Canadian Armed Forces.   Through these many decades, over 118,000 Canadians have laid down their lives in service to Canada, and many more have returned to struggle with physical and mental wounds.  
This year, we remember all those who served, and all those we lost, and we are commemorating significant anniversaries of our service. 
  • The 75th anniversary of D-Day and the battle of Normandy, where allied troops stormed German defenses on the beaches of Normandy to open the way to Germany from the West.  359 Canadian soldiers were killed on that day alone.  During the 2.5 months that followed during the Battle of Normandy, more than 5,000 Canadians died and 13,000 were wounded.
  • The 5th anniversary of the end of the war in Afghanistan, where Canadian troops joined the mission to eliminate the terrorist threat in Afghanistan, after the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Centres.  In all the Canadian Armed Forces lost 158 service people, as well as seven civilians and 40 American soldiers who were serving under Canadian Command.    
Cdr Foreman moved his focus to the present.   There is a saying in the Royal Canadian Navy - "Ready Aye Ready" - which captures the military legacy and sets the benchmark for all operations at sea.  They strive to be, in all aspects, ready to help, ready to lead, and ultimately ready to fight.  They pride themselves in being a highly flexible team that can deploy anywhere, at any time, on a wide range of missions, be it humanitarian and disaster relief, counter narcotic and counter terrorism missions, peace keeping and full combat operations.  Our ships are participating in OP PROJECTION, (diplomatic, training and partnership building in the Asia Pacific Region;  OP NEON (implementation of UN Security Council sanctions on North Korea) and OP CARIBBE (Canada's contribution to US Joint Task Force which has contributed to the disruption or seizure of 85.5 metric tonnes of cocaine and over 6.5 tonnes of marijuana). 
And finally, Cdr Foreman brought us closer to home, telling us about CFB Esquimalt.  First and foremost, its function is to support operations and ensure warships are able to get out to sea and patrol our local and international waters.  It is home to more than 6500 military and civilian staff members.  Last year they served over 350,000 meals, completed 135,000 supply transactions and handled a fleet of over 650 vehicles, including cars, trucks, firetrucks, military police vehicles, cranes, tugs and barges and a zamboni for their arena, because the troops love hockey too!  CFB Esquimalt is the third largest employer in the CRD, contributing over $610 million dollars annually to the local economy, both directly and directly.