Heading off on deployment, or an extended exercise like RIMPAC 2014 is usually a bittersweet event. On one hand, you’re leaving home, personal space and families behind, but on the other hand, you’re getting to go do what you’ve been training so hard for over the 18 or so months prior.
For the crew of the Canadian frigate HMCS Whitehorse, it was pretty much all for nothing. In fact, it was worse than all for nothing when Vice Admiral Mark Norman ordered the ship home from RIMPAC due to unprofessional behavior exhibited by various members of the ship’s crew.
Reports indicate that one of the sailors was caught shoplifting while in San Diego along with separate incidents of drunkenness and sexual misconduct by members of the ship’s crew.
The Ottawa Citizen obtained a message from VADM Norman on Monday which indicated he had appointed a senior officer to look into the matter.
In a Navy-wide statement, he noted: “While the actions of a few sailors in Whitehorse was the trigger for my decision, I recalled her home because I am troubled that across the RCN a small number of our personnel have fallen short of the timeless expectations of naval service and have failed in their roles as ambassadors of their navy and country — no matter where they serve.”
In a public statement subsequently released from the Royal Canadian Navy, VADM Norman “lost confidence in the ship’s ability to meet its current mission due to personal misconduct while in port.”
Commodore Craig Baines is taking the lead on the internal investigation, the statement notes.