HMCS Charlottetown supports NATO operations in the Baltic Sea

Ships sail in formation on the ocean.
Allied ships under Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1) move into formation while sailing into the Baltic Sea on August 22, 2017 during Operation REASSURANCE. Image by Corporal J.W.S. Houck - Formation Imaging Services

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

In August 2017, Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Charlottetown was deployed to the Baltic Sea on Operation REASSURANCE, joining the Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1). The SNMG1 is a naval force made up of ships from NATO countries that are working together to reassure allies in the region of NATO’s ability to support stability and security in the region.

“As part of routine SNMG1 operations, HMCS Charlottetown conducts patrols to improve awareness, which is used to monitor patterns of maritime and air traffic in the area of operations,” said Commander Nathan Decicco, Commanding Officer of HMCS Charlottetown.

The SNMG1 operates in the Baltic Sea with many other nations as it does in all international waterways. Part of the routine work of maintaining awareness is monitoring routine foreign naval and air activities also occurring in the Baltic Sea. In early September, during Russia’s preparations for ZAPAD 17, HMCS Charlottetown and her embarked CH-124 Sea King Helicopter observed routine Russian air and naval activity while sailing in the Baltic.

During these interactions, HMCS Charlottetown and her embarked CH-124 Helicopter maintained a professional posture while observing Russian warships and aircraft. This was integral to maintaining awareness, which contributes to the SNMG1’s overall mission of maintaining situational awareness, maritime security, and stability in the Baltic region.

“HMCS Charlottetown also participates in regular training serials with SNMG1 consorts, improving overall interoperability and is integrated in larger coordinated national and NATO exercises including NORTHERN COAST in the Baltic Sea and BRILLIANT MARINER in the Mediterranean Sea;” said Commander Decicco.

HMCS Charlottetown excels at maintaining accurate real-time awareness while participating in concurrent advanced training serials. The ability of HMCS Charlottetown’s Operations Team to manage multiple simultaneous scenarios and maintain succinct and accurate tactical communications demonstrates the strength and professionalism of Canada’s Navy and is an important and meaningful contribution to NATO’s assurance operations in the Baltic Sea.

HMCS Charlottetown is the 7th Royal Canadian Navy Ship tasked to Operation REASSURANCE.

Image gallery

  • Sailors stand on square shaped object on deck of ship with a helicopter hovering nearby.
  • Sailors look out windows of ship.
  • Ships sail in formation on the ocean.
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