The Royal Canadian Navy has created a new unit, largely staffed by reservists, who will provide protection for RCN ships.
The Naval Security Team or NST expects to be ready for an Initial Operational Capability phase sometime in the spring, with its first deployment overseas at that time, according to the RCN website.
Lieutenant-Commander Jeff Chura, officer in charge of the unit, writes on the RCN website that the organization is currently based within Canadian Fleet Pacific. Orders are making their way up the CAF’s chain-of-command for “eventual Minister of National Defence signature, and at that point NST will become an official unit of the RCN,” he added.
The NST will deploy a small force protection team to defend RCN ships and assets overseas. The unit is mainly made up of reservists, with the idea of strengthening fleet protection and aiding the ship’s company on its watch rotations. The unit will also be able to provide a tactical boat section and intelligence support.
A team of between 30 and 50 military personnel is planned, according to information provided earlier by the RCN.
Chura noted that in November 2016 the Naval Board and the Royal Canadian Navy Dress Committee approved a new “morale” qualification badge for the fledgling unit. “Members of NST’s core leadership team have already begun to wear the badge, and new members will be presented with it once they successfully complete the team’s Collective and Validation training,” he wrote.