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Rigorous Sea Training as well as Downtime.

Heroes Remember

Rigorous Sea Training as well as Downtime.

We spent about five weeks transiting from Halifax eventually ending up in the port of Manama, Bahrain. During that time, especially crossing the Atlantic Ocean, we were put through a very rigorous set of sea training workups. For those who don’t understand that, you work the ship up from a state of low readiness to a high state of readiness so that you can basically protect yourself and if you are in consort with other ships, them as well. The workups went continuously day in and day out before we reached the mouth of the Mediterranean. I think that took about eight days. And during that time the ships were subjected to everything from simple man overboard exercises to simulated exercise, missile attacks, chemical and nuclear attacks. So it was an intense period of time. It was also a period of time where if one wasn’t being bombarded by sea training, one was being stabbed with all kinds of needles. I think I took more needles in that week transit than I had in the previous time that I had been in the forces. Once we got to Gibraltar, sea training left us and we transited the Mediterranean stopping in Italy, a NATO base there called Augusta. Then we transited the Suez Canal and that was an interesting time cuz we got to meet the gully gully man and all kinds of sellers of wears and souvenirs and trinkets. A lot of money was spent there. The gully gully man was a travelling entertainer, magician, comedian. He basically was their vaudeville act but he travelled around the country doing it himself and we had him come on board and it was a respite from the tension people were feeling.

As the HMCS Athabaskan crew sail towards the Persian Gulf, Mr. Snell speaks about the day to day routine on the ship and the opportunity to meet the gully gully man.

Bartley Snell

Mr. Bartley Snell was born February 2, 1956 in Regina, Saskatchewan. In 1977, he decided to join the military and with some encouragement about joining trades within the navy, Mr. Snell made the choice of naval electronic technician (tactical) holding rank of master seaman. During his time in the navy Mr. Snell sailed on the HMCS Athabaskan in active support of the Persian Gulf War. After almost 26 years of naval service, Mr. Snell retired from the military and now resides in Halifax, Nova Scotia with his family.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
February 27, 2016
Person Interviewed:
Bartley Snell
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
Persian Gulf
Gulf War
HMCS Athabascan
Electronics Technician

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