Parade of Ships Kicks off Seattle Fleet Week

July 31, 2019 – Guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), guided-missile destroyer USS Spruance (DDG 111), Royal Canadian navy ships HMCS Edmonton, and U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Active (WMEC 618) participated in a parade of ships in Elliott Bay, July 29, to kick off the 70th annual Seattle Fleet Week. Seattle Fleet Week 2019 is a time-honored celebration of the sea services and provides an opportunity for the citizens of Washington to meet Sailors and Coast Guardsmen, as well as witness firsthand the latest capabilities of today’s maritime services…

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NATO Frigate Groups Change Flagships in Rota

July 29, 2019 – Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1) and Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) both transitioned flagship duties during a port visit to Rota, on July 26. SNMG1 flagship duties were transferred from the US guided-missile destroyer USS Gravely (DDG 107) to the guided-missile destroyer USS Gridley (DDG 101) and for SNMG2, flagship duties were transferred from Canadian frigate HMCS Toronto, to HMCS Halifax. Both Rear Adm. Edward Cashman, Commander of SNMG1, and Commodore Josée Kurtz, Commander of SNMG2 will continue commanding their groups until the end…

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Bluedrop Wins RCN & CCG Training Contract

July 22, 2019 – Bluedrop Performance Learning Inc. and its subsidiary Bluedrop Training & Simulation Inc. are pleased to announce that it has been the successful bidder on the End-to-End Learning Services contract for Maritime Warfare and Seamanship training and development for the Department of National Defence. The contract is valued at $6.7 million over two years, with options to extend for three additional one-year periods. The services will be delivered to the Royal Canadian Navy’s Naval Personnel Training Group (NPTG) as part of the Future Naval Training Systems Strategy.…

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NATO Announces Exercise Breeze 2019 a Week Late After Prodding

July 19, 2019 – After inquiring of Exercise Breeze 2019 July 18th, with their usual no response, NATO released this today one week after event began. Over 2,000 forces and 27 ships are taking part in exercise Breeze 2019 in the Black Sea. The Bulgarian-led maritime exercise, which began on 12 July, involves forces from 12 NATO Allies – Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, France, Greece, Italy, Poland, Romania, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States. The exercise aims to enhance interoperability among participating units and strengthen NATO’s readiness in the…

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Is the CSC Program Dead?

July 16, 2019 – With the election style press release today from Public Services and Procurement Canada reveals something that does not bode well for the Canadian Surface Combatant program. “The government is investing more than $7.5 billion in the Royal Canadian Navy’s 12 Halifax-class frigates to provide necessary ongoing maintenance until they are retired in the early 2040s.” Yes, you read it correctly, 50 or more years for however many of the current frigate fleet can survive budget cuts or rust out. Obviously this boilerplate statement is a lie:…

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Victoria Shipyards to Maintain Canada’s West Coast-based Halifax-class Frigates

July 16, 2019 – Seaspan’s Victoria Shipyards has signed a contract to perform Docking Maintenance work on the Royal Canadian Navy’s (RCN) fleet of Halifax-class frigates. This work has been executed by Victoria Shipyards for the last decade under the Frigate Life Extension (FELEX) modernization program. The maintenance support for Canada’s frigates will see Seaspan provide docking work periods for Canada’s five Halifax-class frigates stationed on the West Coast. The Government of Canada also announced similar work would be conducted by two other Canadian shipyards for Canada’s seven East Coast-based…

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FMF Cape Breton Barge Fleet Being Replaced

July 15, 2019 – Public Services and Procurement Canada, on behalf of the Canadian Armed Forces, has awarded a contract of $1,996,439 to Canadian Maritime Engineering Ltd. of Port Alberni for the acquisition of four steel barges for Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt. The contract also includes a complete technical data package, training and the option to buy spare parts. These steel barges will be used to support various types of maintenance on ships and will replace the six existing wooden barges. This contract will help sustain a minimum of nine…

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SNMG2 Concludes Participation in SEA BREEZE 19 in the Black Sea

July 13, 2019 – The ships of Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) have concluded their participation in SEA BREEZE 19, a Ukrainian-US co-hosted exercise in the Black Sea. Under the command of Commodore Josee Kurtz (CAN N), the Group is conducting a regional patrol as it proceeds to Varna, Bulgaria, during their deployment in the Black Sea. SEA BREEZE is an annual multinational maritime training engagement designed to enhance the ability of partnering nations to build their combined capability and capacity to ensure regional security, and foster unity. “The…

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The Ghosts of Southern Alberta

By Dave O’Malley with Todd Lemieux I’m am Eastern boy. Of that there’s no doubt. Liberal, urban, soft—a bit of a pussy by Alberta standards. But when I sweep down out of Calgary on Highway 2, the farther south I get, the more I feel I belong there. Perhaps it’s the blue dome of the sky and the startling vistas, the heartless winter winds, the direct, no-nonsense men, the uber-competent women or maybe it’s the fading ghosts that surround me from a time long past when men from the east and west…

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