Navy divers praised for dedication and valor



    OTTAWA, March 28 /CNW Telbec/ - Kandahar, Afghanistan is 587 miles from
the nearest port. It is not the sort of place one would expect to find a
Canadian sailor. Yet for the past two years, Canadian Navy clearance divers
have been in the region, applying their expertise in underwater demolition to
combat one of the Taliban's favorite weapons, improvised explosive devices.
    Today, members of the Clearance Diver community were in Ottawa to accept
the thanks of grateful Canadians.  Lt.-Cmdr. Roland Leyte (North Sydney, NS),
Petty Officer 1st Class Paul Joseph Walsh (New Glasgow, NS), Petty Officer
2nd Class Dave Poole (Bridgewater, NS) and Master Seaman Kevin March (Prince
Albert, SK) were here to accept the Honourable John James Kinley Award for
Maritime Affairs from The Navy League of Canada.
    The Navy League (Est. 1895) is an organization that promotes maritime
issues across Canada. The Honourable John James Kinley Award, named for the
former Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia (and a former League President) is
awarded annually to members, employees or units of the Canadian Coast Guard,
Department of Fisheries and Oceans or the Canadian Forces who have made
remarkable contributions in support of naval and maritime interests.
    Previously awarded to specific ships or individuals, this is the first
time the award has been given to an entire trade. "With so many divers
performing these dangerous missions, it is impossible to single out
individuals without overlooking others as equally deserving," noted League
Vice President Ken Bowering. "Dedication and bravery seem to be universal
traits among the clearance diver community. How else can you explain these
sailors travelling halfway around the world to a desolate and landlocked
battlefield to go face to face with a bomb?"
    The Navy motto, "Ready, Aye, Ready" might be loosely translated to "Any
job, Any time, Any where" and the clearance divers of the Canadian Navy have
shown that it's not just an expression. It's a creed all our sailors live by,
and all Canadians benefit from. The Navy League extends sincere appreciation
and congratulations to all our clearance divers, wherever they serve.




For further information:

For further information: Jerrod Riley, National Deputy Director, The
Navy League of Canada, (613) 998-2952, 1-800-375-NAVY, (c) (613) 878-2952,
jriley@navyleague.ca

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