Two commanding officers were removed from the HMCS Calgary. (Black Press Media file photo)

Navy officer dismissed after dismantling smoke detectors, encouraging smoking on HMCS Calgary

Commanding officer also replaced aboard HMCS Calgary

Two CFB Esquimalt officers from HMCS Calgary have been removed from their positions after failing to meet Royal Canadian Navy standards.

The two removals occurred in a similar time frame, after time on the same vessel, but are otherwise unrelated.

The first was the removal of the Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Jonathan Kouwenberg, who was in charge of a recent sailing on HMCS Calgary. The trip down to California focused on training to prepare crews for two upcoming missions.

“HMCS Calgary recently completed readiness training in preparation for a deployment and was unable to achieve the level of readiness required,” said Commodore Angus Topshee, commander of Canadian Fleet Pacific in an emailed statement. “It was assessed that new leadership, in the form of the Commanding Officer, would better allow the ship to achieve that level prior to the deployment this summer.”

ALSO READ: Navy vessel departs CFB Esquimalt for five-month mission

Kouwenberg was replaced by Cmdr. Alex Barlow, who took over on Jan. 20. Previously, Barlow was the Commanding Officer of HMCS Ottawa. Kouwenberg will continue to be employed and trained as a Naval Warfare Officer with no administrative action taken against him.

The second incident resulted in the dismissal of Lt.-Comdr. John Forbes, who was the executive officer on HMCS Calgary. Forbes faced a summary trial on Jan. 16 after it came to light that he had dismantled the smoke/heat detectors in the Wardroom so that he could smoke inside. Forbes also invited his subordinate officers to smoke with him.

“The actions of Lieutenant-Commander Forbes violated the trust placed upon him by the RCN [Royal Canadian Navy] as a member of HMCS Calgary’s command team,” Topshee said. “By virtue of his rank and position on board the ship, his actions encouraged subordinate officers to act against well-established rules.”

Forbes was charged with three counts of misconduct and fined $3,000, and was relieved of his position. Further administrative action is still being considered.

ALSO READ: No charges laid in reported sexual assault at CFB Esquimalt

“The impact to operations is anticipated to be minimal. The management of both events will take a few days to finalize, but once the incoming Commanding Officer is installed, operations will resume as scheduled,” Topshee said.

“In terms of morale and stability, there will be a period of transition. Building up morale and establishing trust between the command team and crew is therefore of the utmost importance during this time, and one of the top priorities of the incoming Commanding Officer.”

HMCS Calgary is set to deploy to the Asia-Pacific region on operations Projection and Neon from April to July.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Like us on Facebook, send a Tweet to @NicoleCrescenzi
and follow us on Instagram

CFB Esquimalt

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Dress campaign returns to the Comox Valley

This project was inspired by The REDress Project, which was started by Metis artist Jamie Black

With video: 19 Wing Comox home to new fixed-wing search and rescue aircraft

The CC-295 Kingfisher was officially unveiled Friday

Vancouver Island couple’s sheep farm dream disrupted by high lumber price

The solar powered farm project in Sayward will be set back by three years if the lumber price continues to remain high

Valley RCMP still looking for missing man six months after disappearance

John Wesley Edwards (“Wes”) who was last seen in Courtenay on March 20.

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Vancouver Island Tour de Rock riders roll into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Saturday’s schedule includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino, followed by Nanaimo on Sunday

2 British Columbians arrested, 3 at large in massive Alberta drug bust

Eight people are facing 33 charges in what police have dubbed Project Incumbent

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Most Read