HMCS Charlottetown trains in coastal defence with allies during Exercise NORTHERN COAST 17

sailors climb a ladder from a boat on the water.
Members of the boarding party from Her Majesty's Canadian Ship Charlottetown climb into a Rigid Hulled Inflatable Boat in order to traverse to Federal German Ship Rhön as part of a training exercise during Operation REASSURANCE on September 12, 2017. Photo: J.W.S. Houck - Formation Imaging Services

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By Lieutenant (N) Meghan Jacques, Operation REASSURANCE Maritime Task Force Unit Public Affairs Representative

Anti-air missile defence. Simulated over-the-horizon targeting. Anti-submarine warfare. Defence against simulated fast, inshore, attack craft. These are the scenarios that made up Exercise NORTHERN COAST 17, which took place from September 9 to 16, 2017, in the Baltic Sea.

In a culmination of their training up to this point, Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Charlottetown and its Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1) counterparts joined other NATO and Partner-for-Peace nations for this exercise. Together, they trained in coastal defence.

Exercise NORTHERN COAST is an annual exercise that has been held in the Baltic Sea since 2007. This year it included naval forces from 16 nations. They all took part in various simulated training serials in order to enhance their ability to meet present and future security challenges in a coastal maritime environment.

The fictive but realistic scenario challenged sailors’ individual operator skills and command teams’ critical thinking. It brought together NATO and Partner-for-Peace nations to overcome a diverse, multi-axis threat that spanned multiple geographical borders.

Exercises like NORTHERN COAST 17 strengthen NATO and partner nations’ ability to combine their assets and work together during maritime operations. Its successful conclusion was a clear testament to the high readiness and interoperability of NATO Allies and partners.

Charlottetown joined the SNMG1 in August, integrating with His Majesty’s Norwegian Ship (HNoMS) Otto Sverdrup, Federal German Ship (FGS) Rhön, and Navio da República Portuguesa (NRP) Francisco de Almeida. After a port visit in Kiel, Germany, SNMG1 expanded to include a total of seven ships with the addition of Her Danish Majesty’s Ship (HDMS) Niels Juel, Her Danish Majesty’s Ship Esbern Snare, and His Netherlands’ Majesty’s Ship (HNLMS) Evertsen.

HMCS Charlottetown is deployed under Operation REASSURANCE, Canada’s contribution to NATO assurance and deterrence measures. These measures aim to reinforce NATO’s collective defence. They also show the strength of Allied solidarity.

Image gallery

  • Two ships on the water.
  • Two ships alongside on the water with cables hanging between them.
  • A ship and a boat on the water
  • sailors climb a ladder from a boat on the water.
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