HMCS Calgary conducts interoperability exercises with the U.S. Coast Guard and the Mexican Navy

Navy News / October 27, 2014

Days after HMCS Calgary’s successful drug interdiction operations with the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Cutter Active and the Mexican naval warship Farias, the three ships conducted a “cross-pollination” exercise where sailors visit other ships for training and familiarization purposes. In this case, 21 sailors switched positions between the three ships. Crew members were transferred between ships by boat and helicopter.

Three officers and eight crew members left Calgary to visit the USCG and Mexican ships, while Calgary received six officers and crew members from Active and four from Farias. Once aboard, all were treated to multiple tours, demonstrations of daily operations and a visit to their respective messes. They were also provided with the opportunity to exchange ideas with their occupational counterparts to get a better sense of how the Royal Canadian Navy operates.

One of Calgary’s bridge watch keepers, Sub-Lieutenant David Nelson, spent three days aboard Active and had a positive experience. “It was a unique experience gaining an insight into the law enforcement aspect of the U.S. Coast Guard during maritime interdiction operations,” says SLt Nelson. “It was also impressive to observe the daily operations of a Coast Guard vessel.”

When asked about the experience for his ship’s company, Calgary’s Commanding Officer, Commander John Wilson, explains it was a well-received experience by all. “I was exceptionally proud to host fellow sailors from our joint interagency friends in the USCG and the Mexican Navy,” says Cdr Wilson. “I was grateful for the opportunity to see members of our team get a chance to experience, learn and bring back the knowledge gained on the other ships.”

Upon completion of the cross-pollination exercise, which ranged from one to three days for the different sailors, Calgary’s participation in Operation Caribbe came to an end and she continued her transit to San Francisco for Fleet Week.

Calgary will remain at sea until the first week of November.