Ordinary Seaman Brian Thornhill of Coomb’s Cove was especially glad to be home in September as the community held a Welcome Home party for him on Friday, September 21.
Thorhill spent the last eight to nine months in the Arabian Sea area on ‘HMS Charlottetown’, a Canadian Navy vessel in the international Combined Task Force formed to combat terrorism in that part of the world.
Thornhill, 20, joined the Canadian Navy immediately following his high school graduation and, after spending 15 months in a Canadian Navy training program in Quebec and British Columbia, found himself deployed as an ordinary seaman on ‘HMCS Charlottetown’ fighting terrorism a long way from his home in Coomb’s Cove.
Thornhill also got to experience some different cultures in the Meditterean/Arabian part of the world as the vessel made stops in Crete, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Dubai during its tour of duty.
However, the nine-month tour was hectic at times as the vessel’s crew did make a seizure of 600 kg of hash, which was worth about $2 million on the streets of North America. The drug money is used by terrorists to purchase guns and other military or technical equipment.
Thornhill said, “It’s good to be home in Newfoundland after the tour of duty on HMCS Charlottetown. I worked as a naval communicator on the vessel and operated in shifts from 12:30 am to 7:30 am and then from 12:30 pm to 5:30 pm. The living quarters on the vessel are excellent and there was plenty of food to go around. It was easy too to make friends with my fellow Newfoundlanders and Canadians on board.
“It was like one big family but definitely not like my family at home. It’s really good to be here tonight and it will be great to get back to Halifax and back to work on October 29.”
The Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150) is one of the multinational fleets coordinated with and incorporating vessels from the Fifth Fleet of the United States Navy. The Task Force is under the Combined Maritime Component Commander, who is also the commander of the U. S. Naval Forces Central Command headquartered in Bahrain. (See Coaster, August 7, 2012)