HMCS Calgary operated with partner navies off the coast of Australia late July during the Australian and American led Exercise (Ex) Talisman Sabre 21. During this two weeks-long massive multi-element joint exercise, Calgary honed a variety of task force skills and improved interoperability with the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), the United Sates Navy (USN), Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), and the Republic of Korea Navy.
The ship, along with its embarked Cyclone Helicopter, participated in anti-submarine warfare, air defense, communications, and surface-to-surface warfare exercises. Talisman Sabre 21 culminated in a multi-day simulated war scenario where Calgary acted as an escort for Expeditionary Strike Group 7 as other ships performed an amphibious assault ashore.
“By taking part in Exercise Talisman Sabre, Calgary is helping to ensure Canada is ready and able to work with our allies to promote peace and maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific,” said HMCS Calgary’s Commanding Officer, Commander Mark O’Donohue RCN.
HMCS Calgary’s participation in the Ex occurred while it makes its way through the Indo-Pacific on Operation (Op) Projection, an operation focused on Canada’s commitment to global peace and security and building ties and interoperability with partner nations.
On Op Projection since February, HMCS Calgary has visited Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Brunei, and Guam and after visiting Australia made its way to New Zealand. Because of COVID-19 protocols, the ship has not been able to conduct regular port visits and this meant greater emphasis on Cooperative Deployments at sea with the RAN, the USN, the Royal Brunei Navy, and the JMSDF.
In the spring, as part of the same deployment, HMCS Calgary was in the Arabian Sea for the counter terrorism mission Op Artemis where they conducted maritime interdiction and security operations with the 34-nation coalition Combined Maritime Forces and Canadian-led Combined Task Force 150.
On Op Artemis, HMCS Calgary was incredibly successful and broke the record for largest heroin seizure, most amount of seizures, and most amount of illicit narcotics seized by any ship on a rotation in the history of the deployment.
Ex Talisman Sabre happens every two years and is the largest bilateral combined training activity between the Australian Defence Force and the United States Military. This year the exercise’s peak activities ran from July 18-31. HMCS Calgary is expected return to Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt at the end of August.
Photographer Petty Officer 3rd Class Dan Seri USN.