Canadian, Tunisian navies train during Operation Reassurance

Photo: Royal Canadian Navy

The Royal Canadian Navy and the Tunisian Navy vessels conducted a passing exercise (PASSEX) in late August.

On August 20, 2018, Canadian frigate HMCS Ville de Québec departed Tunis, Tunisia. With the Northern African coastline in the background, it engaged in the exercise with FBB La Galite and PB Joumhouria of the Tunisian Navy as part of the Operation Reassurance.

As explained, the goal of the exercise was to improve interoperability between Canadian and Tunisian Naval Forces and to foster relations between both nations.

The PASSEX started off with a surface exercise (SURFEX) between all three units. HMCS Ville de Québec sent its special operations rigid hull inflatable boat to simulate small boat approaches and attacks. All three units demonstrated their abilities and procedures for defending themselves against such threats. They used both verbal and visual warnings.

Once the exercise was finished, members of the Naval Tactical Operations Group (NTOG) left HMCS Ville de Québec in the small boat and were joined by members of the FBB La Galite boarding team. Together, they conducted a simulated boarding exercise onboard PB Joumhouria. This exercise proved to be of great value to both countries as it exposed both boarding teams to various operating procedures, according to the Canadian Navy.

Once all members of each boarding team returned to their units, all three ships conducted divisional tactics. This was an excellent opportunity for all three units to practice voice procedures and ship handling. After the manoeuvres got into full swing, all three units were able to execute them at four-minute intervals.

The passing exercise finished with HMCS Ville de Québec conducting a sail past by the other two units, waving goodbye to the Tunisian vessels while wishing them fair winds and following seas.

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