I Am LS Joseph Bowker

LS Bowker

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Dive into Leading Seaman Joseph Bowker’s world in this new installment of the video series, I Am Strong, Secure, Engaged.

A Naval Electronic Sensor Operator for the Royal Canadian Navy, LS Joseph Bowker is one of the many dedicated men and women across Defence working hard to implement the 111 initiatives of Canada’s Defence Policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged.

As a Naval Electronic Sensor Operator, LS Joseph Bowker’s role plays an important part for the Canadian Armed Forces. A Naval Electronic Sensor Operator operate the radar and radio detection devices, radar jamming systems and decoys, and gun/missile-firing equipment that are carried on major naval warships. They play many roles but one of their most important one is to detect, locate and identify friendly and enemy submarines, ships and aircraft in order to defend their ship from all threats.

Watch the video to find out more.

Keep an eye open for more profiles in the weeks ahead and learn more about SSE and how members of the Defence Team are supporting its implementation.


Well, the best part of being an NESOP is the diverse amount of work that we get to do. We do anything from electronic warfare to firing the main armament on board HMC ships. We will put the war and warship. That’s the best part of the job.

So Naval Electronic Sensor Operators, we are kind of the early warning guys on ships. So we identify target radars and vessels of interest and we gather information and intelligence and use it to build the maritime picture around the ship to help the command team decide how we are going to fight the ship.

I am Leading Seaman Joseph Bowker. I am a Naval Electronic Sensor Operator on board HMCS Ottawa. So I joined the Navy a couple of years ago, but before that, I was in the Army Reserve with the British Columbia Dragoons. After spending a few years with them, I kind of figured out where things were going in my life and where I wanted to be. And the Navy seemed like a great opportunity to see the world and do some fun things.

The best part of my job is the people. Honestly, being on a ship is great. There is so many different people from all around Canada. And they are all on this tiny little ship and you get to know each other really well. Sometimes, a little too well! You really… You build a big bond and comradery between each other. So, supporting global engagement and training is really important to us as well. And that is why we are here at RIMPAC. You know, it is the world’s biggest exercise. And you know, we got 25 different navies out here. Not just navies, armies as well, military forces, participating together in joint exercises to really grow and develop the global community as far as maritime security.

RIMPAC is an awesome time for me as an Operator. There will be a lot of working together with other navies, a lot of communicating, some more gaming going on. We are going to be doing some missile shoots, some harpoon shoots, so be doing a SINKEX. So they got an old American Oliver Hazard Perry-class, which we’re going to be towing out to be shooting a couple of missiles at the SINKEX, which is a unique opportunity. So I am hoping to maybe do some crossbow training, get on board some other ships and see how they like to fight the fight. Canada works very closely with our allies, especially the Five Eyes: the United Kingdom, the United States, New Zealand, Australia and ourselves. We share a lot of information.

So one of the best parts of being a Naval Electronic Sensor Operator was being so heavily involved in the intelligence community. Everything from electronic warfare to fire control. What we are doing is we are always preparing for the next exercise, the next big thing. Next year, HMCS Ottawa will be deploying on Op PROJECTION. So there is a lot of work that needs to get done with that, learning about who we are going to be working with, because we are doing a lot of exercises with other navies as well. So we’ve got to gear up and practice and get ready to go.

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