HMCS Charlottetown participates in Exercise SEA BREEZE in the Black Sea

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Article / August 2, 2016

By Lieutenant (Navy) Bill King, Public Affairs Officer, HMCS Charlottetown

From July 27 to 30, 2016, Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Charlottetown participated in Exercise SEA BREEZE, a multinational maritime exercise in the Black Sea co-hosted by Ukraine and the United States. It participated with its Standing NATO Maritime Group Two Task Unit Two (SNMG2 TU.02) consorts, and maritime assets from other NATO and partner states.

Assets from Bulgaria, Canada, Georgia, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States participated in the exercise, which focused primarily on maritime interdiction operations as a means to enhance maritime security. Other capabilities that were exercised included air defense, anti-submarine warfare, damage control, search and rescue, and other tactical manoeuvres.

Cooperation between the countries on the shores of the Black Sea enhances maritime security in the region,” said Commander Andrew Hingston, TU.02 Commander and Commanding Officer of HMCS Charlottetown. “Ex SEA BREEZE provided an excellent opportunity for the professional crew aboard Charlottetown to highlight her recently upgraded capabilities.

During the exercise, HMCS Charlottetown’s most notable contributions were to maritime interdiction operations and anti-submarine warfare. During maritime interdiction operations, the ship employed the Royal Canadian Navy’s Enhanced Naval Boarding Party to support a boarding event. This new, highly-trained team of boarding specialists is better equipped to provide HMC Ships with enhanced agility, flexibility, and tactical expertise to confront and deter a variety of threats in high-risk operational environments.

HMCS Charlottetown also served as the Anti-Submarine Warfare Commander for SNMG2 TU.02 during the exercise, which highlights the RCN’s reputation of being a key player in multi-national anti-submarine warfare operations.    

Above all, this exercise was about cooperation and interoperability. “HMCS Charlottetown integrated smoothly with our NATO and partner country allies,” said Lieutenant-Commander Sam Patchell, Executive Officer of HMCS Charlottetown. “The point of these exercises is to enhance the ability of the maritime assets from many nations to work together under one command.

SNMG2 is an allied task group consisting of high-readiness maritime assets from NATO countries that remains ready to respond in a timely and effective manner to a variety of operational contingencies. HMCS Charlottetown has been serving with SNMG2 since late June when it replaced HMCS Fredericton.

This exercise was a part of HMCS Charlottetown’s deployment on Operation REASSURANCE, Canada’s contribution to NATO assurance and deterrence measures in Central and Eastern Europe. HMCS Charlottetown will continue to conduct operations on Operation REASSURANCE, when and where tasked by NATO, until it is relieved in the New Year. 

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