Deer Lake native taking part in military operation in the Middle East

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Deer Lake native petty officer second class Tyrone Sparkes is serving on HMCS Toronto and is one of 262 crew members taking part in Operation ARTEMIS in the Middle East.

DEER LAKE — Marking more than 750 days at sea on his third operational deployment, Deer Lake native petty officer second class Tyrone Sparkes said it’s all in a day’s work.

Sparkes is aboard HMCS Toronto and is one of 262 crew members taking part in Operation ARTEMIS.  

The Department of National Defence said in a prepared release, the operation is part of the Combined Task Force 150, a multinational maritime task force combating terrorism across the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman.

With the operation taking place in the Middle East, an area of the world Sparkes’ travels had not taken him, he was quick to sign up.

“I wanted to do my part for this mission so I volunteered,” the 44-year-old Sparkes said. “Despite my other deployments, I had never been in this area of the world so it was an added incentive for me.”

Sparkes is a naval communicator information systems administrator and is responsible for the administration and management of communication information systems and networks and the information they process. While his position is technical in nature, he said it has a human side.

“I really enjoy the networking part of my job,” he said. “Being able to get people connected to their families at home from a ship at sea is very rewarding.”

The son of June Sparkes and Elwood High graduate, Sparkes is married to Colleen Flynn-Sparkes and the father of Michelle, 21, and Evan, 12 and grandson Bryce. Like any military member, away from home, Sparkes gets a bit homesick.

“It’s not easy being away from home,” he said. “I do miss my family very much and I wish I could help my wife with the daily routine,” said Sparkes.

 

Organizations: Department of National Defence, Gulf of Oman.With

Geographic location: Deer Lake, Middle East, Red Sea Arabian Sea

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