September 9, 2018 – Australian and Canadian military ties were further strengthened recently when a group of RAN sailors and officers cross-decked in Royal Canadian Navy Ship Calgary as part of Exercise Kakadu 2018 (KA18).
The group, consisting of a cross section of HMAS Stuart’s crew, spent the day onboard Calgary as the task group conducted a series of anti-submarine warfare exercises.
Calgary Commanding Officer Commander Blair Saltel said cross-decking of personnel in both directions was an important component of building ties between allied nations.
“An exercise such as Kakadu gives the Royal Canadian Navy a lot of opportunities,” he said.
“The fact that Australia is hosting such an exercise and that we’ve been invited to participate with other partner nations allows us to better engage with countries in this region.
“In the most basic sense it gives me the opportunity to better train my people thanks to Australia providing dedicated assets to the scenario, such as the inclusion of a submarine in the exercise.
“It also proves that we can all speak a common language in terms of tactics and operations, which in itself is invaluable.”
Calgary, a Halifax Class frigate, left its homeport of Esquimalt in July and will conduct a Southeast Asian deployment once KA18 finishes in mid-September.
During the cross-decking, the Australian members experienced all facets of life onboard a Canadian warship, including the long-held tradition of eating soup at 10am which is a daily ritual in the RCN.
The Australian members also put their small arms skills to the test in a makeshift range set up in the aft section of the ship.
Armed with the RCN weapon of choice, the C8A2 Carbine loaded with paint-tipped ‘simunition’, the Australians were walked through various compartments that were modified to simulate an indoor rifle range.
Calgary, which was commissioned almost 23 years ago, is named after the town in the province of Alberta, Canada that is famous for its weeklong ‘Stampede’ that takes place every July.