Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Ottawa and Japanese vessels have practised anti-submarine warfare and naval boarding party capabilities during KAEDEX 19 near Yokosuka, Japan.

KAEDEX has been held in the Asia-Pacific region since 2016 and aims to strengthen the interoperability between the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Royal Canadian Navy.

Japan had proposed the name KAEDEX to honour Canada’s involvement as ‘Kaede’ is the Japanese word for maple.

On the first day of KAEDEX, held from 16 to 19 October, Canadian teams from Ottawa and teams from Japanese ships Chokai and Shimakaze took up naval boarding simulations while in port.

Both teams simulated a boarding during the exercise, while Ottawa’s crew acted as civilian sailors on a fictitious vessel. Demonstrations on searching, subduing and other boarding tactics were also conducted.

Ottawa, Chokai and Shimakaze conducted manoeuvres at sea on the second day. These included replenishment-at-sea approaches, with each taking turns as a guide ship. A cooperative anti-submarine warfare simulation was later conducted.

KAEDEX concluded with a grand gesture, where Chokai and Shimakaze conducted a traditional sail past manoeuvre on Ottawa.

Ottawa played ‘Not Ready to Go’ during the sail, while all three crews waved farewell to each other.

Ottawa Deck Officer Lieutenant (Navy) Gill Herlinger said: “KAEDEX was a great opportunity for my team to see how another nation’s boarding team operates. We got the chance to demonstrate and talk about some basic boarding tactics with the teams from Chokai and Shimakaze.

“So much that we do nowadays happens through email or messages that it’s really great when you get those face-to-face opportunities to actually meet people in a setting where you have lots of time to discuss details to enhance training.”

After completion of the exercise, Ottawa continued its forward naval presence operations in the Asia-Pacific region on Operation PROJECTION and Operation NEON.

The two operations support the implementation of UN Security Council sanctions imposed against North Korea.

The first KAEDEX, involving Japan and HMCS Regina, was conducted off the coast of Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam, in June.