Canadian Soldiers in Hot Seat, Navy Ship Pulled Out of Intl Naval Exercise Due to Crew Misconduct
By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | July 17, 2014 1:09 PM EST
Canadian navy soldiers are now in the hot seat after navy ship HMCS Whitehorse was pulled out of an international naval exercise in the U.S. due to serious misconduct of at least three service men onboard.
A military band performs during a naming ceremony for the Royal Navy warship HMS Queen Elizabeth at the Rosyth dockyard in Fife in this July 4, 2014 handout photo provided by Britain's Ministry of Defence (MoD). Queen Elizabeth officially named the biggest warship Britain has ever built on Friday, the latest step in a 6.2 billion pound ($10.6 billion) project to build a new generation of aircraft carriers. REUTERS/Thomas McDonald/MoD/Crown Copyright/Handout via Reuters
No less than navy commander Vice-Admiral Mark Norman ordered the pull out of the Canadian military ship from the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) military exercise.
"I am troubled that across the (Royal Canadian Navy) 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," Norman wrote in his internal message.
Local reports alleged the three Canadian sailors engaged in drunkenness and sexual misconduct, where one was even arrested by the U.S. police in San Diego, Calif.
"It's not so much about the seriousness of each but [how] they compare [with] other incidents," the Times Colonist quoted Cmdr. Hubert Genest, head of navy public affairs in Ottawa.
But while the offenses did not require yet the attention of the military's National Investigation Service, the National Post said Norman wanted a check into the spate of "behavioural" incidents seemed to be getting rampant throughout the navy.
"The real story is that we have recognized a potential problem and are taking action," the Canadian Press quoted an unidentified source. "(The incidents) represent a combination of actions ashore and on board that are unacceptable."
The vice admiral specifically wants a review of the ship's policies and procedures.
"The RIMPAC is the world's largest international maritime exercise as it includes forces from 22 nations across the world in this year's exercises near Hawaii and Southern California," the Web site of the U.S. Navy said.
Canada sent two ships, one of which was the HMCS Whitehorse.
HMCS Whitehorse is largely crewed by reservists.
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