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Celebrating a century at sea

On behalf of the men and women of the United States Navy, it is with great pride that I extend my congratulations on the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Navy.

The Canadian Armed Forces, particularly the Canadian Navy, have earned the gratitude and admiration of nations around the world. As one of our closest and strongest maritime partners, the Canadian Navy has steadfastly contributed to global maritime missions, helping promote security and prosperity throughout the world.

Our Navies share a special relationship, and it has been my great honor and pleasure to collaborate with the Canadian Navy. I have seen first hand the professionalism, determination and drive of Canadian sailors, and I am confident they will continue to do great things for the citizens of Canada.

Again congratulations to the Canadian Navy on a century of distinguished service and legacy to make all of Canada proud.

Admiral G. Roughead
Chief of Naval Operations
U.S. Navy

As the professional head of the Royal Navy, I congratulate the men and women of the Canadian Navy, both serving and retired, on the occasion of their Centenary. In June, I was privileged to attend the celebrations in Halifax, where I met with the Chief of the Maritime Staff and other senior officers, before welcoming HMS Ark Royal alongside to join the celebrations – underlining the very close and mutually beneficial links which our two navies have long enjoyed.

Celebrations such as this are an important opportunity to emphasize the strategic importance of the sea to maritime nations such as ours, and the benefits of being able to control what happens at sea and from the sea. The Canadian Navy’s proven track record of operational success over the last 100 years is testament to that; two World Wars, the contribution to NATO’s Standing Naval Force Atlantic during the Cold War and beyond, operations in the Persian Gulf and counter piracy off the Horn of Africa. There are also important roles for the Canadian Navy in protecting and promoting Canada’s interests, in the Arctic and elsewhere, in supporting law enforcement and in the delivery of humanitarian assistance, as seen earlier this year after the earthquake in Haiti. The role of the Canadian Navy in supporting NATO operations in Afghanistan in recent years is perhaps less well known, but it typifies the professionalism and versatility of Canadian Navy personnel.

The Canadian Navy can look forward to the next 100 years with confidence. Both our navies are in the process of investing in the ships and technological edge we will need in the coming years if we are to deliver on all that is being asked of us, whether acting alone or in coalitions. I look forward to continued cooperation at sea between our navies, working alongside one another and together with others to deliver operational success, as we have so often in the past.

Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, GCB OBE ADC
First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff

The Canadian Navy (CN) Centennial provides an opportunity to reflect on the many important moments in Canadian history. The CN is a dynamic representative of Canadian national interests and values: democracy, political and economic openness, the rule of law, diversity and tolerance. On behalf of the German Navy, I congratulate the CN on its 100th birthday – a story of success!

The relationship between the Canadian and German Navies offers an intriguing review of a fundamental shift – the development from once being enemies to becoming “brothers in arms” after the Second World War. Today, the German and Canadian Navies enjoy a relationship of initiative, trust and cordiality between equals.

The German Navy appreciates what we have learned from Canada’s Navy over the past fifty years: a broader, positive view of the world, the importance of the sea and military leadership of excellence.

Today, we face global issues in networks, abstract threats and invisible enemies; limited resources and climate change continue to shape our vital interests. These threats lead to a new maritime dimension, with new focal points of national and international interests.

The 21st century will be shaped by the maritime sphere which connects the world and its peoples. The seas are the lifeblood of our globalized world, providing growth and stability in political, social and economic affairs.

The German Navy will remain a reliable, trustworthy partner to the Canadian Navy, protecting our common values, ensuring free trade, repelling our adversaries and tackling future challenges in the maritime dimension.

Vice Admiral Axel Schimpf
Chief of Staff German Navy

Je suis particulièrement heureux de m’associer au centenaire de la marine canadienne. A l’occasion de cet anniversaire, je tiens à saluer le courage et la fierté des hommes et des femmes qui, depuis le 4 mai 1910, ont porté haut les valeurs de votre pays, sur tous les océans.

La marine canadienne est une alliée de la France, une marine avec laquelle des liens d’estime réciproque et d’amitié se sont forgés depuis de longues années, sur bien des théâtres d’opérations. La ville de Brest garde notamment le souvenir du combat engagé par le destroyer HMCS Athabaskan qui a glorieusement coulé le torpilleur allemand T 29 avant de sombrer en avril 1944.

Aujourd‘hui encore, cette relation se nourrit de valeurs partagées. Notre appartenance commune à l’OTAN, mais aussi notre engagement dans la lutte contre le terrorisme, la sécurité des approches maritimes et la lutte contre la piraterie dans le Golfe d’Aden constituent autant d’opportunités qui nous permettent de développer des échanges privilégiés.

La participation de la frégate Prairial à la revue navale du centenaire, organisée au large de Victoria le 12 juin 2010, celle d’Halifax organisée le 29 juin et à laquelle participera la frégate « Ventôse », sont, pour les marins français, une occasion supplémentaire de renforcer cette amitié.

Je forme des vœux chaleureux pour qu’aujourd’hui, avec le même courage et la même détermination que ses anciens, la marine canadienne continue de jouer tout son rôle pour la défense de la paix et de ses valeurs.

Amiral Pierre-Francois Forissier
Le Chef d’État-Major de la Marine

On behalf of everyone in the Army, it is my privilege to extend heartfelt congratulations to the Navy on this, their centennial year.

There has always been a certain amount of light-hearted banter between soldiers and sailors that reflected the good-natured rivalry between our services. But no one appreciates the skill and dedication of Canadian sailors more than our soldiers. Over the decades of our common service to Canada, you have transported us safely to and from missions, pulled us out of some very tight spots, and supported us with life-saving firepower from off shore.

The Navy has every reason to be proud of everything it has accomplished in a century. Your sailors set a high standard during the First World War. You excelled in the Second World War, especially during the Battle of the Atlantic. Canadian warships escorted over 26,000 merchant ship voyages from North America to the United Kingdom, carrying over 180 million tons of cargo to fuel the war effort.

During that war, historians tell us, the Royal Canadian Navy established a proud fighting tradition. It lost twenty-four ships to enemy action and suffered over 2,000 fatal casualties. While seeing action in all major theatres of war, it also patrolled Canadian coastal waters and kept them safe. It shared in the destruction of thirty-three axis submarines and sank or captured forty-two enemy surface ships. The RCN contributed over 100 ships to Operation Neptune – the naval component of the D-Day landings. Your officers and sailors continued to give Canada and our allies outstanding service during the Cold War and since.

We anticipate an increasing number of joint operations in the future and all of us in the CF will be expected to contribute the experience and skills unique to our respective services. In the Army, we have great admiration for the “ready, aye, ready” attitude of Canadian sailors. We know we can always count on you and the high professional standards you bring to joint operations.

The Navy has earned the gratitude of all Canadians. The Army is proud to serve alongside you. We wish you fair seas and following winds, and another century of outstanding service to Canada.

Lieutenant-General Peter J. Devlin
Chief of the Land Staff

It gives me great pleasure to offer greetings and congratulations to all members of the Navy – past and present – on the occasion of your 100th anniversary.

Naval history dates back to the earliest days of civilization, when Phoenician sailors roamed the waters of the Middle East and Europe thousands of years ago. Aviation, of course, is little more than one hundred years old. But since humanity took to the skies in frail crafts of bamboo, silk and wire, there has been a strong brotherhood between sailors and aviators.

Lieutenant Robert Hampton Gray, VC, a member of the Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve who flew with the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm, was awarded the Victoria Cross for his valiant attack on a Japanese destroyer during the Second World War. He is honoured as “one of us” by both the Navy and the Air Force.

Maritime air aircrew flew Banshees, Trackers and Sea Kings from HMCS Bonaventure, we flew Sea Kings from your ships to bring relief to the people of Haiti and to counter piracy off the coast of Africa, we work together on drug interdiction and search and rescue missions, and much more. Maritime air has been critical in meeting our defence commitments – whether maritime aviators were serving with the Navy or the Air Force. We make a great team!

We in the Air Force are proud and pleased to support the Canadian Naval Centennial celebrations. I wish you “fair winds and following seas” for another 100 years of service to Canada and Canadians.

Lieutenant-General André Deschamps
Chief of the Air Staff and Commander of Air Command

The Canadian Navy Centennial is an historic event for Canada and Canadians. It is an important opportunity for us as a nation to honour the generations of Canadian men and women who have served our country at sea and ashore, in war and in peace; as well as those who continue to uphold the Canadian naval tradition in order to protect the interests of our great nation.

This year will see many occasions for both the navy, and the Canadians they safeguard, to mark the Canadian Navy Centennial. The presentation of a Navy Centennial Bell to the people of Canada marked the Navy’s first 100 years of service and its commitment to another 100 years. The issue of Navy stamps by Canada Post and the production of Navy-themed coins by the Canadian Mint are lasting tributes to Canada’s senior service. As well, two magnificent International Fleet Reviews, one on each coast, showcased to all Canadians the respect and high regard in which their Navy is held by other nations who sent ships from across all oceans to participate in these events.

In line with the Canada First Defence Strategy, the recently announced National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy lays out for the first time in our history a long term foundation for building the ships in Canada that the Navy needs to renew its fleets. The strategy will help our sailors continue the great work they do at home and abroad while creating jobs and economic benefits for the marine industry across the country.

On behalf of the Government of Canada and all Canadians I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Canadian Navy for the hard work, drive and dedication shown by sailors in safeguarding Canada’s three ocean approaches and international waters. As the navy looks forward to its second century of service, I know it will continue to be relevant, responsive and effective. Ours is a navy that all Canadians can take pride in. As they say in the navy, “Bravo Zulu”!

Peter MacKay
Minister of National Defence

Congratulations to everyone involved in the Navy’s Centennial. What a tremendous milestone.
Our nation is respected all over the world in part because of the exceptional work of our sailors. Professional, compassionate, brave and selfless are some of the ways we can describe our past and present sailors whether they served in World War I, World War II, Korea, the Gulf War, or on recent missions like Haiti. I also want to note the special contribution of families and all civilian employees of the Navy and give a special tip of the hat to all of the Merchant Mariners who served in Canada’s Merchant Navy.

We cannot underscore the importance of our Navy to our country. From protecting our coastlines, patrolling our seas and inland waters, fighting in world conflicts, delivering humanitarian aid, Canada’s Navy continues to shape and define our country.

With all of its accomplishments in the last 100 years, we can say the Canadian Forces Maritime Command lives by its motto, Ready Aye Ready. May Canada’s Navy have another great 100 years.

Peter Stoffer, MP, Sackville-Eastern Shore
New Democrat Veterans Affairs Critic

As the Member of Parliament who serves the men and women of CFB Esquimalt and their families, I want to express my warm congratulations to all of them on our Navy’s 100th birthday.

For a century, brave Canadians have come from across our great land to ply the often-treacherous waters around the world in the service of our nation. That Canada has the longest coastline and the largest ocean surface area in the world makes this task all the more difficult. Despite these challenges, today’s sailors and those that have gone before them have served our great nation with courage and dignity.

As a Member of Parliament and as a Canadian citizen I want to thank our naval personnel and their families for their service to our country, and express my sincerest gratitude for all that they have done and continue to do for us.

Bravo Zulu,
Hon. Keith Martin, M.D., P.C., M.P.

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