Master Seaman Rory Buchanan

Sailor Profile / October 29, 2015

Master Seaman Rory Buchanan is a marine engineer on board Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Halifax, which is taking part in the maritime component of JOINTEX 15 off the coast of Spain from October 21 to November 6, 2015.

MS Buchanan, known as Bucky by his shipmates, is originally from Sundridge, Ont., and is one of approximately 30 marine engineers on board. These specialists, called stokers, are trained to ensure the ship’s main propulsion engines and refrigeration and air circulation systems run smoothly. Stokers are required in the event that corrective maintenance on one of these major systems is required while at sea, where heading to the hardware store or calling a local company for service is not an option. Stokers also double as members of the ship’s firefighting attack team. MS Buchanan is one of the attack team leaders in case of such emergencies.

In addition, MS Buchanan is trained as a machinist, able to manufacture specialized parts on board when necessary. There are very few machinists in the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) as a result of the complex and lengthy course requirements involved, meaning MS Buchanan often finds himself in high demand.  

“Being a stoker can be one of the most complex jobs, not simply in the RCN, but in the Canadian Armed Forces as a whole. It is challenging, but also extremely rewarding, especially when you complete a job and know you’ve helped the ship accomplish its mission,” says MS Buchanan. “When I’m not at sea solving problems, I like to get back to Sundridge to spend time with my parents and grandmother, and to socialize with friends I don’t see often enough. The navy has taken me far from my roots, but I wouldn’t change a thing. I really love what I do.”

MS Buchanan joined the Canadian Armed Forces in December 2003. He has participated in the Hurricane Katrina relief effort during Operation UNISON, patrolled Arctic waters on Operation NANOOK, helped stem illegal trafficking in the Caribbean on Operation CARIBBE, and worked as a member of a naval boarding party during Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOR. He has been posted to HMC Ships Toronto and St. John’s during his career and currently finds himself on board HMCS Halifax.

HMCS Halifax recently completed Exercise JOINT WARRIOR on October 15, 2015. The ship will participate in JOINTEX 15 into early November with HMC Ships Athabaskan, Winnipeg, Summerside and Goose Bay, as well as Her Majesty’s Canadian Submarine Windsor, as part of NATO’s Exercise TRIDENT JUNCTURE 15. The larger exercise also has land and air components that take place in Spain, Portugal and Italy. It is the largest NATO exercise since 2002, with over 36,000 troops from more than 30 nations participating, including approximately 1,650 Canadian Armed Forces sailors, soldiers and aircrew members.