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    Sea Breeze Sailor Profile: Meet Lieutenant (Navy) Michael Vuongphan from the Royal Canadian Navy

    Exercise SEA BREEZE 21: Team Leader from the Naval Tactical Operations Group (NTOG)

    Courtesy Photo | 210708-F-D0094-288 ODESA, Ukraine (July 8, 2021) Lieutenant(Navy) Michael Vuongphan, a...... read more read more



    Story by Maj. Christopher Daniel 

    Canadian Forces Combat Camera

    Lieutenant (Navy) Michael Vuongphan, a Team Leader from the Naval Tactical Operations Group (NTOG), is currently deployed on Operation UNIFIER supporting Exercise SEA BREEZE 21 in Odesa, Ukraine from June 28 to July 10, 2021. SEA BREEZE is multinational annual exercise co-hosted by the United States Navy and the Ukrainian Navy with the support of NATO’s Partnership for Peace program.

    Born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Lt(N) Vuongphan enrolled as a Naval Warfare Officer in the Naval Reserve Division, HMCS Chippawa. He originally joined the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) because of the travel opportunities that come with the job, as well as the education reimbursement benefits, but soon became immersed with the job.

    “As a reservist I had the opportunity to attend university during the school year and through the summer months I would conduct my Naval Warfare Officer occupation training,” said Lt(N) Vuongphan.

    Being a Team Leader for NTOG presents some challenges and gratifying opportunities.

    “Maintaining the skills for being a Maritime Tactical Operator and fulfilling the administrative and staff work required of a Team Leader are quite challenging,” said Lt(N) Vuongphan. “The most fulfilling part of my job is working in a small team environment with other like-minded, and motivated individuals,” he added.

    Lt(N) Vuongphan has seen the world through the RCN. A seasoned sailor, he has been deployed on Operation NANOOK in the Arctic in 2015, and Exercise TRADEWINDS in the Caribbean on board HMCS Shawinigan in 2016, Operation REGULUS in the North and Baltic Sea on board JS (Japanese Ship) Kashima in 2018, and Operation REASSURANCE in Europe on board HMCS Halifax with NTOG in 2019.

    “I got to experience opportunities that I would not have been able to do on my own,” shared Lt(N) Vuongphan, “I got to sail and travel, and meet new people from around the world. Most of all, I gained new experiences and learned new skills,” he added.

    NTOG is a full time, Regular Force unit in the RCN, comprised of both Regular Force members and Reserve Force members. It is the RCN’s Maritime Interdiction Operations (MIO) Centre of Excellence and designed to deploy globally to assist Canada’s international security partners build their capabilities, in support of Government of Canada’s Strong, Secure, Engaged defence policy.

    “NTOG’s role in Exercise SEA BREEZE is to represent the CAF and RCN by promoting interoperability of MIO tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) and to build stronger relations with partner nations,” said Lt(N) Vuongphan. “With my Team 2IC, we form the leadership element of the team, and our role is to enable our team with the opportunities to share and learn MIO TTPs with partner nations and to promote the RCNs MIO inter-operability capability. We’re excited to meet sailors from partner nations and develop professional relationships with them,” he noted.

    Exercise SEA BREEZE is about training together and making new friends based on a shared commitment to peace and stability in Europe. The RCN’s deployment of personnel to support this year’s iteration of SEA BREEZE is part of Operation UNIFIER, the CAF military training and capacity-building mission in Ukraine.

    Asked about his advice to aspiring sailors, he said, “Take the time to think about what exactly you want and enjoy the journey.”



    Date Taken: 07.08.2021
    Date Posted: 07.08.2021 11:13
    Story ID: 400528
    Location: ODESA, UA

    Web Views: 802
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