After completing the Canadian-hosted anti-submarine exercise, Cutlass Fury 16 on September 23, U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Bulkeley proceeded to take part in the multi-national exercise Frontier Sentinel 16 (FS16) just three days later, from September 26 to 28.
FS16 was a full-scale, live exercise conducted in the Gulf of Maine under command of U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFF), along with Canadian Joint Task Force Atlantic (JTFA), and U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Atlantic Area (LANTAREA).
In its 10th year, the goal of Frontier Sentinel was to practice, evaluate, and develop recommendations for enhancing capabilities in response to threats to North American maritime homeland security.
Bulkeley’s crew says it has been pushing the pedal to the metal the last few weeks with their participation in multiple international exercises, transitioning from the anti-submarine warfare nature of CF16 to the anti-terrorism evolutions of FS16.
“It’s a good test of our response times and how well we work together,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Benjamin Wagner. “It helps us see how fast we can react to a real threat and keeps us relevant in real world situations.”
FS16 was comprised of four ships, two helicopters, and the staff of multiple government departments and agencies from both the U.S. and Canada. Together they aimed to accomplish training objectives including: inter-organizational communications at the operational and tactical levels, shared maritime domain awareness, collaborative operational planning and performing coordinated operations.
“This exercise is about coordination, practice and threat containment,” said Lt. Sonia Herrera from Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 72, embarked aboard Bulkeley. “It is in our best interest to practice as we fight. Our Navy is great, but we will continue to improve when we coordinate and learn from our allies and teach them our best methods as well.”