Submarine’s newest strength

HMCS Victoria performs hoisting drills

HMCS Victoria performs hoisting drills with a Sea King helicopter from 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron during sea trials.

The on-going transformation activities within the Royal Canadian Navy have spawned the creation of the Canadian Submarine Force (CSF).

The newly formed organization addresses the need for centralized management of submarine forces within the navy.
Because the submarine community is relatively small (about the size of a frigate crew), the establishment of the submarine capability on both coasts resulted in significant pressure on a small number of experts.   

“We ended up spreading ourselves a little thin; perhaps too thin,” says Capt(N) Luc Cassivi, the inaugural Director Canadian Submarine Force. “The Commander RCN agreed that we needed to bring experience and expertise together to ensure we’re supporting submarine operations in a safe and sustainable manner.”

As the Director Canadian Submarine Force, Capt(N) Cassivi is the navy’s submarine expert and the main advisor to Commander Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) on all submarine matters. He leads a team of specialists focused on:
•    coordinating submarine-specific force generation and submarine force employment
•    planning and execution of east and west coast submarine operations
•    exercising operational control of all submarines on behalf of the Formation Commanders and the Maritime Component Commander
•    ensuring the long term health, safety, and sustainability of the submarine force
•    representing the RCN in all national, NATO, allied, and Asia-Pacific submarine operations related forums

It’s expected three of Canada’s four submarines will be available for operations by late 2013. A high-readiness submarine will be available in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and a third submarine will be available for other tasks. As part of the ongoing submarine operational cycle, the fourth submarine will rotate into a scheduled deep-maintenance period.

Top on his agenda is to ensure efforts are coordinated to safely progress from a decade of single submarine operations to three running boats.

“We’re going from operating one submarine to operating three in a very short amount of time. We need to make sure we’re training the right people at the right time and providing them with a realistic program at sea to build their experience level and confidence in operating these sophisticated platforms.”

As the central hub for submarine activities, Capt(N) Cassivi and his team work with all Commands with an interest in the submarine capability. With such a small force, any event in one submarine has an effect on another; therefore, careful coordination is required.

“We’re going to provide a more coordinated leadership to submarine operations,” says Capt(N) Cassivi. “It will enable us to better manage pan-navy submarine priorities, and allows the Submarine Force to better serve the navy, and ultimately Canada.”

Shawn O’Hara, Staff Writer

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  1. Russ Taylor says:

    Good luck to the Canadian Submarine Force and success in current and future missions, our thoughts and best wishes to all who continue to serve in the best SSK’s ever built, they are in good hands.

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