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

Tanya Finley will run as the Nelson-Creston candidate for the BC Liberals in the upcoming election. Photo submitted
Tanya Finley will run as the Nelson-Creston candidate for the BC Liberals in the upcoming election. Photo submitted
Election 2020: Tanya Finley

The second of four interviews with the Nelson-Creston candidates

A health-care worker prepares to swab a man at a walk-in COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal North, Sunday, May 10, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes)
Interior Health records 21 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend

Thirty-six cases remain active; two people are in the hospital, one of whom is in intensive care

Granite Pointe Golf Club will receive a partial tax exemption this year from the City of Nelson. It is one of many non-profits to be granted full or partial exemptions for 2021. File photo
Nelson’s tax exemptions for non-profits exceed $55,000 for 2021

Groups that own property are eligible for exemptions if their work benefits the community

Nicole Charlwood represents the Green Party in the campaign for Nelson-Creston. Photo submitted
Nicole Charlwood represents the Green Party in the campaign for Nelson-Creston. Photo submitted
Election 2020: Nicole Charlwood

The first of four interviews with the Nelson-Creston candidates

Working smoothly together on May 11, 2020, health minister Adrian Dix, B.C. Liberal health critic Norm Letnick, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and sign language interpreter Nigel Howard. (B.C. government video)
COVID-19 co-operation a casualty of B.C.’s pandemic election

NDP’s Horgan weaponizes senior care, B.C. Liberal Wilkinson calls for ‘wartime economy’

Three years ago, Larry Plummer challenged himself to hike up to the flag viewpoint on the Montrose Antenna trail 1,000 times. Photo: Gordon McAlpine
Senior celebrates 500th hike up Kootenay trail

Larry Plummer began his quest to complete 1,000th hike up Antenna Trail just over three years ago

A 34-year-old man was treated for a gunshot wound in Williams Lake Monday, Oct 19, 2020. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake man treated for gunshot wound after accidental shooting: RCMP

Police are reminding residents to ensure firearms are not loaded when handling them

A injection kit is seen inside the newly opened Fraser Health supervised consumption site is pictured in Surrey, B.C., Tuesday, June 6, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. records 127 fatal overdoses in September, roughly 4 each day

Vancouver, Surrey and Victoria continued to see the highest numbers of overdoses

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

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Investigators work at the Sagmoen farm in Silver Creek. - Image credit: Observer file photo.
Sex workers allegedly called to farm of Okanagan man convicted of assault, RCMP investigating

Curtis Sagmoen, convicted in relation to assault of sex trade workers, is prohibited from soliciting escorts

(Black Press Media files)
Early voters more likely to favour NDP, but overall B.C. election is tightening: poll

According to Elections BC, 383,477 people cast a ballot during advanced voting days

(Pixabay)
Wave of racist emails ‘unleashed’ on B.C. researchers investigating racism in health care

The team has received close to 600 calls and emails since the investigation started in July

Most Read