Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98) and USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116) participated in Cutlass Fury, an international exercise hosted by Canada’s Commander Maritime Forces Atlantic that involves the cooperation of several NATO allies conducting training evolutions off the east coast of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, Sept. 7-17.
The event is a bi-annual, medium-scale, training exercise that enhances mutual awareness, inter-operability, and readiness of participating Allied navies. This year’s Cutlass Fury 21 continued to build on previous training principles that focused on anti-submarine warfare, with the added emphasis on the multi-threat environment, air-maritime integration and support, and anti-air defense.
“The U.S. and NATO procedures are similar, but we’re still learning,” said Lt. j.g. Gianmatteo Francavilla, an assistant navigator and Italian Navy personnel-exchange-program officer aboard the USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98). “Cooperating together during Cutlass Fury was a good learning experience for the future.”
“Cutlass Fury gives us an opportunity to participate in training applicable to us deploying together with NATO,” said Lt. Lisa Lacross, the operations officer aboard the Forrest Sherman. “It gives us an opportunity to integrate and operate with our foreign partners.”
NATO Allies, made up Canadian, French and American navies, successfully performed gunnery, maneuvering, boarding, replenishment and anti-submarine exercises despite the challenges presented by Hurricane Larry while operating at sea. These exercises facilitated training and developed interoperability within the coalition.
“We have the U.S. Navy way that we do things, but there’s also Allied Tactical Publications (ATP) that we use when we are operating with other countries,” said Lacross. “We’re all mariners and we speak that same language, but we have different ways of doing certain things, so, just getting together and seeing what the differences are and working through those is an important part of Cutlass Fury.”
Two years after the previous, this upcoming Cutlass Fury began just days after USS Forrest Sherman completed Frontier Sentinel with Canadian Allies. Both Frontier Sentinel and Cutlass Fury are international training exercises that help Forrest Sherman prepare for a future deployment.
“This is really a phenomenal training opportunity for everyone aboard the Forrest Sherman,” said Lacross. “As we continue down our path towards certification and deployment, training with international partners is a plus.”
One of the goals for the Forrest Sherman while participating in Cutlass Fury is to improve operational capabilities using NATO procedures.
“Improving our cooperation with other NATO countries is one of our goals,” said Francavilla. “Sometimes you can learn from the different ways other countries execute procedures.”
Hudner also participated in Exercise Noble Defender from Sept. 11-12. Noble Defender is a NORAD and U.S. Northern Command exercise series that demonstrates the ability to conduct agile combat employment principles across the North American area of operation while strategically messaging U.S. and Canadian binational defense of the homelands.