HMCS ''Tecumseh''

HMCS Tecumseh
Active 1941–present
Country Canada
Branch Royal Canadian Navy
Type Stone Frigate
Role Reserve unit
Garrison/HQ Calgary, Alberta
Nickname(s) 'Tec'
Motto(s) In pace bellum para (In Peace Prepare For War)
Colors Black and gold
Equipment 24-ft RHIB (ZH-733 CDO) rigid-hulled inflatable boat

HMCS Tecumseh is a Royal Canadian Navy Reserve division (NRD) located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada[1] Dubbed a stone frigate, HMCS Tecumseh is a land-based naval establishment.

Operations

HMCS Tecumseh is properly referred to as a ship, as it has been officially christened as Her Majesty's Canadian ship. However, since the ship is part of the reserves it does not operate on a full-time basis, except for the museum. Rather, most of the operations occur in the evening on weekdays. The primary operations of the ship include a recruitment office, two cadet corps, the Canadian Naval Museum, and the Tecumseh Naval Reserve Band.

History

Calgary's Naval Reserve division was established on 31 March 1923. However, it was not christened HMCS Tecumseh until 1 November 1941. It is named after the Shawnee chief who served with the British and Canadian military force in the War of 1812. Two years after its christening, the division moved to its present location on 17 Avenue SW.

During World War II, over 4,500 personnel enlisted at Tecumseh. Of those, 52 were killed in action. Among them was Lt(N) Robert Hampton Gray, the only person in the Royal Canadian Navy to be awarded the Victoria Cross.

Unlike some Naval Reserve divisions in Canada, Tecumseh survived post-war defence cuts. It has since survived other challenges including armed forces unification, and a major fire in 1981. Rebuilt since the fire, Tecumseh is a fully modern training facility. In addition to the Naval Reserves, Tecumseh houses 3 Squadron of 41 Signal Regiment, Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps Signals, Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps Undaunted and Navy League Cadet Corps Captain Jackson. Tecumseh was also home to the Naval Museum of Alberta until it moved to The Military Museum.

Subsequent to rebuilding, Tecumseh became the headquarters of the first female flag officer in the history of the Canadian Navy, Commodore Laraine Orthlieb. Then in 1992, Tecumseh felt the pull of war again, this time in the Persian Gulf. At this juncture, several members of the unit volunteered for duty, of whom two were selected to serve on board HMCS Huron.

Tecumseh personnel were deployed to combat Manitoba's 1997 flood, provided security at the 1997 APEC meeting in Vancouver, and assisted in the recovery mission following the Swissair crash off Halifax as members of the maritime coastal defence vessel crews assigned to the operation. More recently, Tecumseh personnel have provided support for the G8 Summit in 2002 and participated in Operation Apollo in the Gulf of Oman in 2003. Members of the ship's company now regularly deploy as part of Operation CARIBBE, in support of international drug interdiction efforts .[2]

Tecumseh helped mark the centennial of the Canadian Navy in 2010, a significant year in Calgary's military history, with three army reserve units also celebrating 100-year anniversaries.[3]

In 2013, members of HMCS Tecumseh took part in the Nijmegen Marches. The Nijmegen Marches consist of four days of marching through the countryside and crowded streets of towns and villages in the Nijmegen area. Each military participant marches a total of 160 kilometres while wearing standard combat clothing and carrying a military backpack weighing at least 10 kilograms.[4]

See also

References

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