Chestermere Sailor First Class (S1) Brayden Hart-Young played an important role in Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Calgary, Operation (Op) ARTEMIS, counterterrorism, and maritime security mission in the Middle East.
From April to June, the ship was deployed and conducted maritime interdiction operations in the Arabian Sea.
On the mission, the ship worked under the command of the Canadian-led Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150), one of the three task forces operating under Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), a multinational partnership dedicated to maritime security in Middle Eastern waters.
As part of Op ARTEMIS, HMCS Calgary interdicted suspicious vessels at sea to stop the flow of illicit goods, most frequently narcotics.
Hart-Young’s role on Op ARTEMIS was with the ship’s the organic boarding party, Alpha Wave, where Hart-Young provided security on vessels.
The boarding party is a tactical unit made up of different trades on the ship and their training skillset is that they are able to conduct maritime interdiction operations, travelling to suspicious vessels, and seizing illicit goods.
“I find this deployment to be incredibly rewarding because we got to see some tangible results from the work. It’s great to be part of something that is making a difference by seizing illicit narcotics and taking away money from regional terrorist organizations,” Hart-Young said.
Throughout the deployment, Hart-Young’s responsibilities included operating and configuring the advanced RADARs onboard and utilizing the RADARs to identify every vessel and aircraft around the ship, preparing and delivering intelligence briefs to command, and monitoring encrypted communications with allies.
In addition to main duties, Hart-Young also acts as a member of the ships charity team and raises funds for The Calgary Firefighters Burn Treatment Society, while also participating in the Ship 2 Shore program, which connects young students in the city of Calgary with sailors onboard HMCS Calgary in order to better increase the community’s understanding of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN).
Since Hart-Young was little he had a thirst for adventure and travel, and always strived to find the most exciting path to reach his goals.
“Becoming a sailor in the RCN has allowed me to see as much of the world as possible while also remaining financially stable and developing life skills to utilize in my future endeavours,” Hart-Young said.
Throughout Hart-Young’s career, and multiple deployments, he has visited 15 different countries, and over 30 different ports, with his favourites being Shanghai and Kuala Lumpur.
Hart-Young joined the military at the age of 17.
Less than a year after joining, he did a deployment with HMCS Ottawa which took him to Hawaii, Guam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, China, South Korea, and Japan.
His current deployment has taken him around Asia, the Middle East, and Australia and New Zealand later this summer.
“The memory I cherish the deepest is a community relations event I organized in Pattaya, Thailand, where myself and 50 other RCN sailors visited an orphanage for children with disabilities and, utilizing the technical expertise of our ships engineers, we’re able to repair some of the orphanage’s buildings and equipment,” he said.
Although there have been countless highlights for Hart-Young throughout his time as a sailor, moving away from home and launching himself into an immersive experience at a young age and lacking life experience has been overwhelming at times.
“Early on, I often found myself lonely and missing home. Luckily the military provided me all the tools and a support system I needed to learn to adapt to changes more effectively and helped instill a sense of independence I don’t think I would have developed this young with another career choice,” Hart-Young said.