There’s a new face in our community. He’s a commercial pilot, but he’s in the Royal Canadian Navy; he circumnavigated the world twice, first sailing eastwards in 1991 and then heading westward via a combination of planes & ships in 2002 and he plays the trombone! He is the new Commander of the Canadian Forces Maritime Experimental and Test Ranges (CFMETR).
On Friday March 6th Commander Darren Rich provided us a view of navy life, a few of his experiences, and information on CFMETR, a facility on our doorstep which we pass almost daily but of which most of us know very little. Commander Rich began his military career at Royal Roads Military College, graduating in 1983 with a degree in physics and oceanography. He was commissioned as an officer and then trained as a Marine Systems Engineering Officer. In the intervening years he has been posted to National Defence Headquarters, completed a tour in HMCS Restigouche, worked at several staff and command levels within Maritime Forces Pacific, the Command and Staff College in Toronto and at the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) in Kingston. In July 2014 he returned to Canada from a three year posting to Colorado Springs to assume Command of CFMETR. As a military test facility under a joint international agreement (similar to NORAD),
CFMETR is under the command of the Canadian Navy and DND, while the U.S. Navy is responsible for all technical details. All PROBUS members were relieved to be assured that no live weapons are tested and the facility supports not only missile testing but also science & technology research for defence (including those related to the sovereignty of the arctic). The area called locally, Whisky Gulf, is several hundred metres deep (1,000 metres at its shallowest) and has a silty bottom – perfect media for not only the acoustics required in sonar tracking, but also the ease of retrieving torpedoes.
The Commander is from a family with a long and distinguished history in the Canadian forces. One wouldn’t be surprised if his passion for the forces filters down to the next generation.