PHOTOS: Hundreds of family members, friends welcome home HMSC Regina

Melody Bailey was able to visit Ford Miller in Tokyo where he popped the question at the top of the Tokyo Tower about five weeks ago, during one of several port visits made by the ship. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Jonathon Mishrigi embraces his twins, Cario and Phoenix after six and a half months at sea. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Philippe Sabourin sheds a tear at the first sight of the ship his father has been on for the past six and a half months. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Melody Bailey, Michael and Tori Miller are here to see their son, Ford, return after a six and a half month deployment on the HMSC Regina.
Michelle Scott and her two kids, Bode and Evie, wait for dad to come home. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
The HMCS Regina returned to Esquimalt on Monday morning after a six and a half month deployment to the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Tori Miller, Melody Bailey and Michael Miller wave to their son and fiancé Ford, who’s been away for the past 194 days. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Reunited at last, Melody Bailey hugs her new fiancé, Ford Miller, who poses next to his parents, Michael and Toni. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
The first glimpse of the HMCS Regina as it returned to CFB Esquimalt on Monday morning. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

Smiles, hugs and tears were all around at the Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt Monday as family and friends gathered to welcome home their loved ones.

HMCS Regina returned to Esquimalt on Monday after a six and a half months deployment to the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions. The ship left on Feb. 6 — a date that has been etched on the minds of many at today’s homecoming — and sailed on Operation Projection. Crews worked with partner navies and conducted key leader engagement in order to enhance military cooperation and partnership in support of Canada’s diplomatic efforts in the region.

A group of about 30 family members watched the ship sail by with signs and smiles on its way to the dock. Michael Miller, a chief petty officer for the navy, his wife Toni and their soon to be daughter-in-law, Melody Bailey, waved frantically as the massive steel boat went by.

RELATED: Esquimalt-based HMCS Regina makes fourth drug bust in Middle East

“This is his first long trip,” said Michael while waiting for his son Ford, a leading seaman on the HMCS Regina. “For me, it’s been over 30 years since I was on a trip this long so it’s a pretty special moment.”

“It’s been 194 days,” said Bailey confidently when asked how long Ford had been gone, obviously counting down the days.

Bailey was able to visit Ford in Tokyo where he popped the question at the top of the Tokyo Tower about five weeks ago, during one of several port visits made by the ship.

“It wasn’t too long ago, but it’s been long enough,” she said. HMCS Regina also visited Guam, Hawaii, United Arab Emirates, Seychelles, Singapore, Oman and Australia while deployed.

RELATED: Three navy ships deploy from CFB Esquimalt Wednesday

While away the vessel participated in Exercise TALISMAN SABRE, a biennial Australian and United Stated bilateral exercise designed to train partner military forces in planning and conducting Combined Task Force operations and to improve combat readiness and inter-operability. The exercises took place from July 11 to 24 in the vicinity of Queensland, Australia. It involved 25,000 personnel operating across the maritime, land and air domains from Australia, the United States, New Zealand, Japan and the U.K.

When the ship finally docked at the base with hundreds of family members and friends cheering, the Miller family made their way on and found Ford.

With his arm wrapped around Bailey, his parents looking proudly on and a smile plastered to his face, Ford was finally back with his family.

“I’m so excited, I’m home with my honey,” he said. “It’s been a really long sail, it’s nice to be back.”



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Defense says burden of proof not met in double murder case against Oak Bay father

Closing statements begin in trial for man accused of killing daughters Christmas 2017

Victoria Conservatory of Music bursary fund reaches $1M mark

The Eric and Shirley Charman Bursary Fund launched in 2017

Sealand was much more than killer whales, says ex-employee

Former Sealasd trainer revisits Sealand of the Pacific in talk

Residents say Monday’s fatal crash in Saanich wasn’t unexpected

Speed has long been a concern for neighbours in the Cumberland and Union roads area

UPDATED: Hundreds gather to reflect and remember UVic students killed in bus crash

Campus community invited to reflect, support one another

WATCH: United Way #Drive4Five event launches campaign to raise $5 million

More than 80,000 lives changed last year by the United Way

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of September 17

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Man who crushed Nanaimo RCMP cars with stolen truck gets more jail time

Majore Jackson, 34, sentenced to two more years in jail in provincial court in Nanaimo

B.C. dog breeder banned again after 46 dogs seized

The SPCA seized the animals from Terry Baker, 66, in February 2018

Surrey mom allegedly paid $400,000 for son in U.S. college bribery scam

Xiaoning Sui, 48, was arrested in Spain on Monday night

Three dogs found shot dead in Prince George ditch

The three adult dogs appeared to be well cared for before being found with gunshot wounds, BC SPCA says

B.C. party bus company to be monitored after 40 intoxicated teens found onboard

Police received tip teens and young adults were drinking on party buses and limousines in Surrey

Rick Mercer calls out Conservative candidate in B.C. for fake meme

‘Not true. All fake. Please Stop,’ tweeted Rick Mercer in response

Bear killed in Kimberley after chasing girl, wreaking havoc on town

This particular brown-coloured bear has been the subject of many calls this summer; very food habituated, CO says

Most Read