Tags: Operations & Exercises
By: Lieutenant (Navy) Emily Anglin, HMCS St. John’s Unit Public Affairs Representative
In June 2017, after many months of patrolling the Mediterranean and Black Sea, Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) St. John’s began making its way west. It was heading into the last few weeks of its Operation REASSURANCE deployment, but the hard work was not quite over. The crew had one last task at hand: Exercise DYNAMIC MONGOOSE 17. This advanced anti-submarine warfare exercise was held off the south coast of Iceland.
“In my time as Underwater Warfare Director, Exercise DYNAMIC MONGOOSE 17 is the best exercise I have experienced,” said Petty Officer First Class (PO1) William Hibbs. “From the proficient submarines to the excellent coordination between surface units and aircraft, it has been a challenging yet rewarding experience.”
“The advanced nature of the exercise was evident with the seamless communications and coordination between units, achieved right from the first serial. The professionalism of all participants and honest feedback progressed training to the highest level for every unit,” he added.
While the North Atlantic is familiar territory for most East Coast sailors, the crew had to readjust to the waves after the sunshine and calm seas boasted by the Mediterranean. Fortunately, the seas calmed somewhat just off the coast of Reykjavik. The NATO ships stopped there for a brief port visit before starting the exercise.
After months of working extensively with a host of countries bordering the Mediterranean, HMCS St. John’s was exposed to new ships and different navies. This was the first time on deployment that HMCS St. John’s worked with the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, and Iceland. They joined Britain, France, Italy and the USA in sending surface, subsurface and airborne assets to participate in the exercise.
Of the ten surface ships and five submarines present, only USS JAMES E. WILLIAMS, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, was familiar to HMCS St. John’s. The two ships worked together in the fall of 2016 as HMCS St. John’s prepared for deployment.
HMCS St. John’s will be returning home to Canada later this month.