HMCS Ottawa participates in KAEDEX

Sub-Lieutenant Riley Perrior discusses  Ottawa’s Boarding Party techniques with members of the Japan Maritime Defense Force during a joint naval boarding party exercise onboard HMCS Ottawa on October 16 alongside Yokosuka, Japan while deployed on Operations Projection and Neon. Photos by Leading Seaman Victoria Ioganov

Sub-Lieutenant Riley Perrior discusses Ottawa’s Boarding Party techniques with members of the Japan Maritime Defense Force during a joint naval boarding party exercise onboard HMCS Ottawa on October 16 alongside Yokosuka, Japan while deployed on Operations Projection and Neon. Photos by Leading Seaman Victoria Ioganov

Captain Jenn Jackson, HMCS Ottawa PAO ~

Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Ottawa recently operated with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) in KAEDEX, a bilateral exercise, alongside and near Yokosuka, Japan while deployed on Operations Projection and Neon.

Held annually in the Asia-Pacific region since 2016, this exercise includes serials conducted alongside and at sea and focuses on strengthening interoperability between the two allies. The name “KAEDEX” was a mutually agreed upon name between the RCN and JMSDF as “KAEDE” is the Japanese word for maple tree. The JMSDF proposed this name to honour the RCN’s involvement.

“Despite having to scale back some serials due to the aftermath of super-typhoon Hagibis, KAEDEX provided Ottawa and her crew an opportunity to work with one of our close allies in a number of different scenarios, including cooperative development of Naval Boarding Party skills and Anti-Submarine Warfare,” said Commander (Cdr) Alex Barlow, Ottawa’s Commanding Officer.

Super-typhoon Hagibis passed over Yokosuka, Japan on October 12, 2019 causing wide-spread destruction. It also delayed Ottawa’s arrival and planning for KAEDEX; however despite the delay and the shorter window to operate, the KAEDEX was completed.

Ottawa Deck Officer, Lt(N) Gill Herlinger coordinated the alongside Naval Boarding Exercise which took place on October 16 prior to all three ships departing for sea.

“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,” said Lt(N) Herlinger.

“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.”

Both teams simulated a boarding with members from Ottawa’s crew acting as civilian sailors on a vessel of interest. Following this, demonstrations on subduing, searching, and other boarding party tactics rounded out the exercise.

The following day at sea, Ottawa and JS Chokai and JS Shimakaze conducted manoeuvres together, including practicing Replenishment-at-Sea (RAS) approaches, with each taking turns at being the guide ship.

“The Officer of the Watch manoeuvres serial and RAS approaches with our two consorts was excellent training for our Bridgewatch Keepers,” says Lt(N) Tom Gray, Ottawa’s Navigating Officer, and coordinator for the manoeuvres serial of the exercise.

“They were able to practice their relative velocity solutions and giving block reports to the captain. This assists in preparing them for the upcoming multi-ship ANNUALEX in November.”

After manoeuvres, KAEDEX continued with a cooperative anti-submarine warfare (ASW) exercise that provided an opportunity for all three ships to practice their ASW in a multinational environment.

“The ASW exercise was a great opportunity to practice tactics and procedures with our allies in the region,” says Lt(N) Will Chong,  Ottawa’s Operations Officer and ASW Exercise coordinator. “Although there was a language barrier, a lot of our practices were similar and it gave the operations team an excellent challenge in deciphering communications and understanding how the JMSDF defends against submarines.”

With all serials completed, it was time for Ottawa to say good-bye to JS Chokai and JS Shimakaze. For the final manoeuvre of the day, Chokai and Shimakaze conducted a sail past on Ottawa, who played “Not Ready to Go” by the Trews over the loudspeaker, while all three crews waved their farewells before departing into the sunset.

Upon completion of KAEDEX, Ottawa’s mission shifted from Operation Projection, conducting forward naval presence operations in the Asia-Pacific region as well as conducting cooperative deployments and participating in international naval exercises with partner nations, to supporting Operation Neon, Canada’s contribution to the enforcement United Nations Security Council Resolutions 2375 and 2397.

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