By Acting Sub-Lieutenant Jérémie Fraser,
Canadian exchange officer sailing onboard USS San Diego (LPD 22) for RIMPAC 2016

Acting Sub-Lieutenant Jérémie Fraser, Canadian exchange officer sailing onboard USS San Diego (LPD 22) for RIMPAC 2016. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

Acting Sub-Lieutenant Jérémie Fraser, Canadian exchange officer sailing onboard USS San Diego (LPD 22) for RIMPAC 2016. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

After spending a dozen days on the beautiful island of Oahu, I am now observing the immense preparations required for the departure of the ship. USS San Diego (LPD 22) is now full of U.S. Marines and their equipment, ready to begin exercise Rim of the Pacific. I am looking forward to seeing how the Marines work and perhaps I may even participate in some of their training.

The last few days have been full of different social activities, with the objective of meeting fellow sailors and officers from navies from around the world. HMCS Calgary (FFH 335) and HMCS Vancouver (FFH 331) hosted an excellent reception to celebrate Canada Day. Everyone I have met has had only positive things to say about Canadian hospitality.

It is important to recognize our American hosts as well. My colleagues and I have been very well-received by the crew of the San Diego. They include us in most activities, of which they are quite rewarding and exciting.

PEARL HARBOR (June 28, 2016) Sailors man the rails on the flight deck as amphibious transport dock ship USS San Diego (LPD 22) arrives at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam to make preparations for Rim of the Pacific 2016. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joseph M. Buliavac/Released)

PEARL HARBOR (June 28, 2016) Sailors man the rails on the flight deck as amphibious transport dock ship USS San Diego (LPD 22) arrives at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam to make preparations for Rim of the Pacific 2016. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joseph M. Buliavac/Released)

 

My primary objective of this exchange is to gain experience. I will begin my training to be a maritime surface and sub-surface officer soon upon my return to Canada. As such, I have ample opportunity to review the basic naval knowledge, such as the Rules of the Road, flags and more. Time spent on the bridge of the San Diego has also given me the opportunity to learn about the different systems used to navigate a warship. I hope I will not be totally lost when I begin my training!

The training for surface warfare officer in the U.S. Navy, the equivalent of our maritime surface and sub-surface officer, is different compared to how it is done in the Royal Canadian Navy. Canadians undertake an intensive, year-long course before becoming an officer of the watch, while Americans have a more on-the-job approach. This unique environment onboard a U.S. warship is very advantageous for a young junior officer in my position.

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