The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) and the US Navy have conducted a collaborative exercise called Atlantic Shield 2014 off the eastern seaboard, aimed to strengthen anti-submarine warfare capabilities.

During the exercise, personnel from each nation participated in an advanced anti-submarine warfare scenario.

The drill involved the Canadian Navy’s HMCS Windsor submarine, HMCS Halifax ship, one CH-124 Sea King helicopter, one maritime long-range patrol CP-140 Aurora aircraft, and headquarters staff from Maritime Forces Atlantic.

"This exercise provided an outstanding opportunity for military units from both nations to conduct combined operations."

The US Navy’s one P-3 Orion aircraft and headquarters staff from the US Forces Fleet, as well as Los Angeles-class nuclear-powered attack submarine USS Dallas, also participated in the exercise by simulating the actions of an unfriendly submarine attempting to penetrate task group defences.

The participating units successfully identify the USS Dallas, which played an unknown fast attack submarine in continental waters, during the drill.

The RCN commander vice-admiral Mark Norman said that success in maritime operations requires control above, on, and below the surface of the sea.

"In order to achieve this, nations require balanced maritime forces that include aircraft, ships and submarines," Norman said.

"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."

The joint exercise was intended to enhance bilateral operational capability by sharing information and combining their strengths, as well as developing tactical employment plans in the defence of the Eastern Seaboard of Canada and the US.

HMCS Windsor commanding officer lieutenant-commander Andy MacKenzie said: "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."

Defence Technology