Royal Canadian Navy Trains with Charles de Gaulle Strike Group

By Lt Linda Coleman RCN

April 29, 2019 – On April 23, HMCS Regina conducted a cooperative deployment with  Task Force (TF) 473, a Carrier Strike Group with nuclear-powered French Navy aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle. The cooperation took place in the Arabian Sea with the goal of enhancing interoperability and improving communications.

The day started with an Air Defence Exercise (ADEX), which saw French Navy Rafale M Fighter jets take off from Charles De Gaulle aircraft carrier to conduct maneuvers over Regina.

HMCS REGINA hosts a French Navy NH90 Helicopter of Task force 473 carrier strike group while it conducts drills during Operation ARTEMIS in the Pacific Ocean on April 23 2019. Photo: Corporal Stuart Evans, BORDEN Imaging Services

As the jets flew over the warship as low as 200 feet, Regina’s operations room was buzzing with activity. The aim was to exercise Regina’s Above Water Warfare capabilities by practicing detect to engage, warnings, self defence against unknown strike / fighter bomber aircraft, and air to surface missiles.

“The ADEX was a lot of fun for our Above Water Warfare team to track and locate French fighter jets,” said Lt Adam Ness RCN, HMCS Regina’s Above Water Warfare Officer.

“The opportunity to work with an aircraft carrier and its fighter jets doesn’t come around very often, so it was a unique opportunity for us to exercise these skills. Happy to say that we rose to the challenge resulting in a successful test.”

The afternoon saw TF473’s NH90 Helicopter conduct a deck evolution with HMCS Regina, including hoisting, slinging, and landings. For Regina’s embarked Cyclone helicopter detachment, it was an opportunity to conduct joint training.

HMCS REGINA hosts a French Navy NH90 Helicopter of Task force 473 carrier strike group while it conducts drills during Operation ARTEMIS in the Pacific Ocean on April 23 2019. Photo: Corporal Stuart Evans, BORDEN Imaging Services

“The deck evolutions went very well with the French Navy. It’s great professional development for us to work with other countries, see how they operate and perform these procedures, which is a bit different from ours,” said Captain Ryan Clarke of 443 Squadron, based out of Patricia Bay.

Concurrently, Naval Replenishment Unit (NRU) Asterix conducted a Replenishment at Sea with French Ships Latouche-Tréville and Provence, demonstrating Asterix’s abilities to support our partners and allies.

The day concluded with HMCS Regina conducting close quarter sailing with Charles de Gaulle as the Rafale M Fighter jets exercised landings and takeoffs.

“This was a unique opportunity for a Maritime Forces Pacific based warship to operate with a French Task Force and other NATO warships,” said Commander Jake French RCN, Commanding Officer of HMCS Regina.

“I’m very proud of my ship’s company for successfully integrating into a multinational task group, highlighting the operational effects of cooperative deployments.”

HMCS Regina was operating with USS McFaul, HDMS Niels Juel and HMAS Ballarat off the coast of Oman in the Arabian Sea with the TF473.

All photos official RCN

 

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