HMCS Protecteur (AOR 509)
HMCS Protecteur in Pearl Harbor after a port visit in 2009
|Ordered:||16 December 1966|
|Builder:||Saint John Shipbuilding|
|Laid down:||17 October 1967|
|Launched:||18 July 1968|
|Commissioned:||30 August 1969|
|Decommissioned:||19 September 2014|
|Homeport:||CFB Esquimalt, British Columbia|
|Motto:||Soutien avec Courage
"Support with Courage"
|Gulf and Kuwait
Arabian Sea 
|Class & type:||Protecteur-class replenishment oiler|
|Displacement:||8,380 t (8,248 long tons) standard
24,700 t (24,310 long tons) full load
|Length:||171.9 m (564 ft 0 in)|
|Beam:||23.2 m (76 ft 1 in)|
|Draught:||10.1 m (33 ft 2 in)|
|Propulsion:||2 × Babcock and Wilcox boilers
1 × General Electric steam turbine
21,000 shp (16,000 kW)
|Speed:||20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)|
|Range:||7,500 nmi (13,900 km; 8,600 mi)
at 11.5 knots (21.3 km/h; 13.2 mph)
|Complement:||365 officers and crew (men and women) including 45 in air detachment|
|4 × BAE Systems Mark 36 SRBOC chaff launchers
AN/SLQ-25 Nixie towed decoy
|Armament:||2 × 20 mm Phalanx CIWS
6 × .50 calibre machine guns
|Aircraft carried:||3 × CH-124 Sea King helicopters|
Her Majesty's Canadian Ship (HMCS) Protecteur (AOR 509) was the lead ship of the Protecteur-class replenishment oilers in service with the Royal Canadian Navy. She was part of the Maritime Forces Pacific (MARPAC), homeported at CFB Esquimalt, British Columbia. Built by Saint John Shipbuilding and Dry Docks in Saint John, New Brunswick, she was commissioned on 30 August 1969. She was the first Canadian naval unit to carry the name Protecteur; however, there have been several units, including a base, named HMCS Protector.
Mostly known for her humanitarian efforts, Protecteur had also served in times of war including Operation Friction and Operation Apollo in the Persian Gulf region, multi-national naval exercises and as part of the INTERFET in East Timor. Operation Apollo was the largest deployment of the Royal Canadian Navy since the Korean War. In six months Protecteur logged over 50,000 nautical miles (93,000 km; 58,000 mi), delivering over 150,000 barrels (~20,000 t) of fuel and 390 pallets of dry goods to deployed coalition ships. Protecteur, as well as her sister ship Preserver, were scheduled to be paid off in 2017, however the replacement Joint Support Ship Project is not scheduled to enter service until two-years later.
Protecteur was the first Canadian naval unit to carry the name Protecteur; however, there have been two Australian and seven British naval units named Protector. The name was also used for a Canadian base, named HMCS Protector.
First authorized in 1959, HMCS Protecteur was constructed by Saint John Shipbuilding and Dry Docks in Saint John, New Brunswick starting on 17 October 1967, was launched on 18 July 1968, and was officially commissioned by the Royal Canadian Navy on 30 August 1969.
Protecteur was one of two ships in the Protecteur-class of replenishment oilers in service with the Royal Canadian Navy. The ship is 171.9 m (564 ft) long and 23.2 m (76 ft 1 in) wide, with a displacement between 8,380 and 24,700 tonnes (8,248 and 24,310 long tons) depending on her load. Protecteur's draught is 10.1 m (33 ft 2 in), and she had been given an ice rating of three.
Two Babcock and Wilcox boilers fed a single General Electric steam turbine rated at 21,000 shaft horsepower (16,000 kW) that drives a single propeller, allowing the ship to reach a maximum speed of 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph). At 20 knots, the range of Protecteur was limited to 4,100 nautical miles (7,600 kilometres; 4,700 miles), but her range could be extended to 7,500 nmi (13,900 km; 8,600 mi) when only traveling at 11.5 knots (21.3 km/h; 13.2 mph).
Protecteur's primary role was to deliver supplies to deployed ships. Fully loaded, Protecteur could store up to 14,590 t (14,360 long tons) of fuel, 400 t (394 long tons) of aviation fuel, 1,048 t (1,031 long tons) of dry cargo, and 1,250 t (1,230 long tons) of ammunition. Fuel could be transferred at a rate of 1,500 t (1,476 long tons) per hour and 2,500 lb (1,100 kg) of dry cargo per hour could be transferred all while traveling at her top speed.
Four BAE Systems Mark 36 SRBOC chaff launchers and an AN/SLQ-25 Nixie towed decoy were the ship's primary defenses. When Protecteur was originally launched, she was fitted with a twin 3"/50 caliber gun mounted on her bow, however the 3" guns were replaced with two 20 mm Phalanx CIWS mounts, one at the bow and one astern in August 1990. The CIWS emplacements were part of the upgrades that Protecteur received before deploying to the Persian Gulf region.
Her former 3"/50 guns were temporarily fitted, together with two Bofors 40 mm guns, six .5 inch machine guns, as well as Blowpipe and Javelin MANPADs during the Gulf War. The CIWS mounts were retained after the war, but the Bofors and 76 mm gun were removed from Protecteur after returning from war.
Originally Protecteur was to be fitted with Mark 29 NATO Sea Sparrow. However, due to delays in procurement, the Sea Sparrow system was never installed. The CH-124 Sea King helicopters on board Protecteur also provided weapons support, carrying Mark 46 torpedos and a 7.62 mm machine gun.
Three hundred sixty five men and women served on Protecteur. There were 27 officers aboard ship and a total of 45 crew members who were part of the air detachment that flew three CH-124 Sea King helicopters off the back of the ship. In 1988 the crew of the Protecteur was officially desegregated, allowing both men and women to serve on board her. Protecteur was equipped with a small dental clinic, which provided dental care for the Royal Canadian Navy when deployed.
The Polish yacht Gedania left Resolute Bay and went missing on 30 August 1975. Gedania was a sailboat, and was only the second pleasure craft to attempt to traverse the Northwest Passage; however they were turned back due to regulations regarding the passage. The sailboat was on a journey to circumnavigate the North and South American continents. The crew of Protecteur initiated a $400 thousand (equivalent to $1.7 million in 2014) search for the lost ship before it completed its journey.
In 1980, while Protecteur was operating off the coast of Portugal, Commanding Officer Captain Larry Dzioba hoisted an Esso flag on the ship's mast, joking that they were the "biggest floating gas station in the neighbourhood". In 1981, Protecteur served in CARIBOPS 81 off the coast of Puerto Rico, along with at least two Canadian destroyers. Protecteur and her CH-124 helicopters performed a nighttime rescue of the crew of a disabled Norwegian chemical tanker in June 1982. The Norwegian crew was forced to abandon their ship after a fire had broken out. For the 75th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Navy, Protecteur hosted a dinner with the captains of 35 ships, including ships from Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and the United States, as well as then Governor General Jeanne Sauvé and Prince Andrew.
In 1991, Protecteur was part of the Canadian contingent sent to the Persian Gulf as part of Operation Desert Shield and later Operation Friction (the Canadian name for its operations during the Gulf War). The ship, part of a three-vessel force, the other two being the Iroquois-class destroyers Athabaskan and Terra Nova, saw extensive service in the Central Gulf. The ship was honoured with the Gulf and Kuwait Medal for her service in the war. In 1992, Protecteur was sent to help after Hurricane Andrew in Florida, with tasks including repairing schools, community centres, and hospitals in the region. A small pool was built on the helipad of Protecteur providing some relief to hurricane ravaged Floridians. Homes, churches, and a senior centre were also repaired in the Bahamas. The homeport of Protecteur was changed from CFB Halifax to CFB Esquimalt after the hurricane relief efforts. The frigate Vancouver and Protecteur participated in the multi-national RIMPAC 98 off the coast of Hawaii in June 1998.
Protecteur was deployed to East Timor as part of the Australian-led INTERFET peacekeeping taskforce from 23 October 1999 to 23 January 2000. Crew from Protecteur helped reconstruct a police academy in Dili during their deployment in support of INTERFET. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police then used the newly reconstructed academy to set up a training school for the National Police of East Timor. Protecteur participated in Operation Apollo for six months, logging over 50,000 nautical miles (93,000 km; 58,000 mi) and delivering over 150,000 barrels (~20,000 t) of fuel and 390 pallets of dry goods, returning to CFB Esquimalt in November 2002. Operation Apollo was the largest Canadian deployment since the Korean War. Protecteur participated in RIMPAC again in 2004, along with the Algonquin and Regina.
On 19 September 2011, Protecteur departed from CFB Esquimalt for a two month deployment off southern California as part of the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group. Protecteur joined the destroyer Algonquin and the frigate Ottawa in Fleet Week activities in San Diego, California, between 26 and 30 September 2011. On 30 August 2013, the ship was involved in a collision with Algonquin during towing exercises. There were no injuries to personnel, although Protecteur sustained damage to her bow. The damage was repaired in time for Protecteur to participate in a Task Group Exercise with the United States Navy in mid October 2013.
In 2014, Protecteur suffered an engine room fire and breakdown 340 nautical miles northeast of Pearl Harbour, Hawaii. She was moving at limited speeds and the USS Michael Murphy, USS Chosin, and the USNS Sioux was dispatched from the USN to assist. Chosin attempted to tow Protecteur, but the towing line broke. About 20 members of the ship's crew were injured as a result of the fire, and her engines were badly damaged. After a preliminary assessment, it was decided that the vessel could not be repaired in Pearl Harbor. On 16 May Protecteur left Pearl Harbor under tow from the United States Military Sealift Command-operated Rescue and salvage ship USNS Salvor for an expected three week journey to her home port of CFB Esquimalt near Victoria, B.C. Protecteur was delivered to Esquimalt on 31 May 2014.
Plans for replacing Protecteur and her sister ships were first brought up in 2004. Lack of spare parts for the ship's boiler and the fact that she is a monohull tanker have been the main driving points to replacing Protecteur and her sister ship. It was planned that the ship would continue to operate until 2015; however, the Joint Support Ship Project will not be completed until two years later, leaving a gap in the ability for the RCN to refuel and resupply her own ships while deployed. It is likely that Protecteur, following extensive damage as a result of a fire in February 2014, will be decommissioned. "It's likely repairs will be too expensive for the navy to consider" because she was to be retired in 2017.
On 19 September 2014, Vice-Admiral Mark Norman of the Royal Canadian Navy announced the retirement of Protecteur, along with her sister ship HMCS Preserver and the Iroquois-class destroyers HMCS Iroquois and HMCS Algonquin. The Royal Canadian Navy is looking at other options to fill the supply gap until the arrival of the 2 Queenston-class auxiliary vessel in 2019 at the earliest.
- HMCS Provider (AOR 508) the predecessor to Protecteur
- HMCS Preserver (AOR 510) Protecteur's sister ship
- "South-West Asia Theatre Honours". Prime Minister of Canada. Retrieved 2014-05-09.
- The Commissioning of HMCS Protecteur. Saint John, NB: Saint John Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company. 30 August 1969. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
- Canadian Naval Review. Vol. 6, Num. 1. 2010. p. 31.
- Wertheim, Eric (2007). The Naval Institute Guide to Combat Fleets of the World: Their Ships, Aircraft, and Systems (1st ed.). Naval Institute Press. p. 82. ISBN 978-1-59114-955-2.
- Tracy, Nicholas (2 October 2012). Two-Edged Sword: The Navy as an Instrument of Canadian Foreign Policy. McGill-Queen's University Press. p. 149. ISBN 978-0-7735-8781-6. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
- The Insignia and Lineages of the Canadian Forces. Volume 2 , Part 1. Canadian Forces Heritage Publication. 8 January 2001. pp. 2–81–2–82. Retrieved 29 November 2013.
- "Ship's Characteristics". 2 June 2013. Archived from the original on 7 June 2013. Retrieved 29 November 2013.
- Staff (1983). "HMCS Protecteur". Marine News (Kendal, England: World Ship Society) 37: 423. ISSN 0025-3243. OCLC 8782985. Retrieved January 10, 2014.
- Taylor-Vaisey, Nick (3 September 2013). "Canada's Pacific fleet can't catch a break\". Maclean's. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
- Jane's Defence Weekly. vol. 17. IHS Inc. 1992.
- Spears, John (18 August 1990). "Canadian vessels bulk up for gulf". Toronto Star (Star Media Group). p. A12. Retrieved 30 November 2013 – via ProQuest. (subscription required (. ))
- "Canadians 'chugging along,' navy says". The Vancouver Sun (Postmedia Network). The Canadian Press. 25 August 1990. p. B8. Retrieved 30 November 2013 – via ProQuest. (subscription required (. ))
- Baker, A.D. (1998). The Naval Institute Guide to Combat Fleets of the World 1998–1999. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. pp. 83–84. ISBN 1-55750-111-4.
- Saunders, Stephen (ed.). Jane's Fighting Ships (2002–2003 ed.). Coulsdon, UK: Jane's Information Group. p. 65. ISBN 0710624328.
- Saunders, Stephen (ed.). Jane's Fighting Ships (2004–2005 ed.). Coulsdon, UK: Jane's Information Group. p. 186. ISBN 0-7106-2623-1.
- SeaWaves Today in History. Shirlaw News Group. 17 October 2009. ISSN 1710-6966. OCLC 77076813. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
- Crawford, Steve (2003). Twenty-first Century Military Helicopters: Today's Fighting Gunships. Zenith Imprint. p. 9. ISBN 978-0-7603-1504-0. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
- Canadian Shipping and Marine Engineering. Vol. 43. Maclean-Hunter. 1971. p. 223.
- Morin, Maj. Jean H.; Gimblett, LCdr. Richard H. (7 April 1997). Operation Friction 1990–1991: The Canadian Forces in the Persian Gulf. Dundurn Press. pp. 44–47. ISBN 978-1-55488-256-4. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
- Singh, Paramjit; Arora, Vimal (30 December 2005). Military Dentistary: Terrain, Trends and Training (1st ed.). Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers. p. 34. ISBN 978-81-8061-418-7. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
- Staff (12 September 1975). "Persuit of Polish Yacht may cost $400,000". The Globe and Mail. p. 8.
- Tobolewski, Jerzy (16 June 1979). "Editorials". Toronto Star (Torstar Corporation). p. J10a.
- Canadian inflation numbers based on Statistics Canada. "Consumer Price Index, historical summary". CANSIM, table (for fee) 326-0021 and Catalogue nos. 62-001-X, 62-010-X and 62-557-X. And Consumer Price Index, by province (monthly) (Canada) Last modified 2013-12-20. Retrieved January 8, 2014
- Ward, Peter (8 June 1980). "Canada's Proud Navy Papers Over its Cracks". Toronto Star. p. C19.
- "Fill'er up". The Leamington Post (Canadian Newspapers Company). 27 January 1982. Retrieved 29 November 2013.
- "Bittersweet 50th anniversary for Canada's Sea King helicopters". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 31 July 2013. Retrieved 12 December 2013.
- Fulton, J.A. (8 August 1985). "Selective coverage". The Globe and Mail. p. 7.
- Toth, Derrick (10 January 1991). "Protecteur crew returns from Gulf". Kitchener – Waterloo Record (Metroland Media Group). p. A1. Retrieved 29 November 2013.
- Spears, John (23 August 1990). "Canadian warships set to sail for gulf". Toronto Star (Star Media Group). Retrieved 29 November 2013.
- McCreery, Christopher (30 April 2005). The Canadian Honours System. Dundurn Press. pp. 551–553. ISBN 978-1-55488-017-1. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
- "Canadians Help Rebuild 2 Schools in S. Florida". Deseret News. Associated Press. 15 September 1992. Retrieved 29 November 2013.
- "Canada sending hurricane relief crews to Florida". Toronto Star (Star Media Group). The Canadian Press. 8 September 1992. Retrieved 29 November 2013.
- "Sailors built pool on ship during mission to aid hurricane victims". Ottawa Citizen (Postmedia Network). The Canadian Press. 4 October 1992. p. A6. Retrieved 30 November 2013 – via ProQuest. (subscription required (. ))
- "Canadian sailors keeping busy rebuilding storm-struck Bahamas". Kitchener – Waterloo Record (Metroland Media Group). 26 October 1992. p. A7. Retrieved 29 November 2013.
- "Navy ships ready for Asian tour". The Record (Metroland Media Group). 6 May 1998. p. A3. Retrieved 29 November 2013.
- Stevens, David (2007). Strength Through Diversity: The combined naval role in Operation Stabilise. Working Papers 20. Canberra: Sea Power Centre – Australia. pp. 14–15. ISBN 978-0-642-29676-4. ISSN 1834-7231. Archived from the original on 13 March 2011. Retrieved 6 September 2010.
- Grunau, Steve (2003). "The Limits of Human Security: Canada in East Timor". Journal of Military and Strategic Studies (New York, NY: Columbia University Press) 6 (1). OCLC 192026323.
- SeaWaves Today in History. Shirlaw News Group. 24 November 2010. ISSN 1710-6966. OCLC 77076813. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
- "HMCS Protecteur arrives home". The Guelph Mercury (Metroland Media Group). 25 November 2002. p. B12. Retrieved 29 November 2013.
- Conrad, LCol. John (15 September 2011). Scarce Heard Amid the Guns: An Inside Look at Canadian Peacekeeping. Dundurn Press. p. 215. ISBN 978-1-4597-0096-3. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
- Rozenberg, SLt. Kelly. "Algonquin Embarks Upon RIMPAC". United States Navy. Archived from the original on 10 March 2005. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
- McCracken, E (16 September 2011). "CFB Esquimalt supply ship heading south for warfare training". Victoria News (Black Press). Retrieved 29 November 2013.
- "2 Canadian warships collide en route to Hawaii". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The Canadian Press. 31 August 2013. Retrieved 31 August 2013.
- "U.S. and Canadian Navies Complete Task Group Exercise" (Press release). United States Navy. 15 October 2013. Retrieved 30 November 2013.
- "Line towing fire-damaged HMCS Protecteur to Hawaii breaks". www.cbc.ca. CBC News. 2 March 2014. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
- "HMCS Protecteur towed into Pearl Harbor". CBC News. 6 March 2014. Retrieved 7 March 2014.
- "HMCS Protecteur arrives safely, but suffers devastating damage". CTV News. 6 March 2014. Retrieved 7 March 2014.
- http://www.shipspotting.com/gallery/photo.php?lid=2034620 shipspotting.com photo gallery: USNS Salvor (T-ARS 52) - IMO 8434374
- http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/hmcs-protecteur-returns-home-to-esquimalt-1.1098293 "HMCS Protecteur returns home to Esquimalt"
- SeaWaves Today in History. Shirlaw News Group. 23 March 2009. ISSN 1710-6966. OCLC 77076813. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
- Brewster, Murray (25 August 2008). "Tories scuttle replacement plan for obsolete navy supply ships". The Guelph Mercury (Metroland Media Group). p. A6. Retrieved 29 November 2013.
- Curry, Bill; Clark, Campbell (6 August 2010). "Navy ships risk being banned from ports". The Globe and Mail. p. A7. Retrieved 30 November 2013 – via ProQuest. (subscription required (. ))
- Berthiaume, Lee (12 October 2013). "Schedule conflict to cost taxpayers $55 million". The Vancouver Sun (Postmedia Network). Retrieved 29 November 2013.
- "Arctic icebreaker delayed as Tories prioritize supply ships – Politics – CBC News". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The Canadian Press. 11 October 2013. Retrieved 29 November 2013.
- "Navy sending four Cold War era ships into retirement". CTV News. 19 September 2014. Retrieved 20 September 2014.