The Canadian Navy and the United State Navy recently wrapped up a collaborative exercise where each nation’s sailors and air force personnel honed their anti-submarine warfare skills during Exercise Atlantic Shield off the eastern seaboard.
Held from January 26 to 29, 2014, Atlantic Shield was a complex exercise that brought together headquarters’ staff, submarines, warships and aircraft from both the RCN and US Fleet Forces to search for and track an unidentified submarine threat.
The exercise consisted of an advanced anti-submarine warfare scenario play in which the Los Angeles-class submarine, USS Dallas, simulated being an unfriendly submarine attempting to penetrate task group defenses. USS Dallas proved to be a challenging target for participating ships and aircraft to hone their detection and tracking skills, while Canadian and US headquarters staff executed complex operational planning and coordination.
“Success in maritime operations requires the ability to have control above, on, and below the surface of the sea”, said Vice Admiral Mark Norman, Commander of the RCN. “In order to achieve this, nations require balanced maritime forces that include aircraft, ships and submarines. This exercise provided an outstanding opportunity for military units from both nations to conduct combined operations with a diverse group of aircraft and vessels that resulted in a significant training achievement for all.”
For HMCS Windsor’s Commanding Officer, Lieutenant-Commander Andy MacKenzie, the mission was very valuable: “I consider this exercise a true success for our Victoria-class submarines. Using an advanced anti-submarine warfare scenario, my crew and I clearly demonstrated the significant capabilities of our boat and the exceptional training of our submariners. This scenario allowed Windsor to hone its detection and tracking skills, while the other allied units allowed the headquarters staff to execute complex operational planning and coordination.”
This recent success story for HMCS Windsor on Atlantic Shield is only one example of the outstanding work achieved by the submarine and her crew since it came back from refit in December 2012.
Despite imposed temporary restrictions on the range and endurance of her operations caused by an unforeseen defect with one of her two diesel generators, HMCS Windsor has been very active during the last year, spending 119 days at sea. The submarine continued to operate safely while patrolling home waters, training submariners, interacting with foreign submarines, supporting ample ship and long range patrol aviation force generation for the RCAF and USN, and restoring the RCN and USN theatre anti-submarine warfare capability.
HMCS Windsor will be going into a work period to replace the defective generator from late-March to September 2014. The submarine will return to sea in October to begin trials and prepare for future tasks.
Press Release, February 19, 2014, Image: Wikimedia