September 24, 2020 – U.S. Second Fleet (C2F) hosted the U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area and the Canadian Armed Forces’ Joint Task Force Atlantic for the 2020 Frontier Sentinel tabletop exercise (TTX) and Tri-Party Staff Talks C2F’s headquarters aboard Naval Support Activity (NSA) Hampton Roads and virtually, Sept. 22-24.
During the first two days, the staffs conducted the Frontier Sentinel TTX, designed to test communication and information methods, rules of engagement, and command and control in an operation involving all three operational commands. This year’s exercise focused on suspicious activities near a commercial port, expanding on last year’s exercise iteration while focusing on the collaborative planning process.
“It is precisely times like these, in times of uncertainty, that table top exercises and staff talks are all the more important to strengthen communication lines amongst our commands,” said Vice Adm. Andrew Lewis, commander of U.S. Second Fleet. “We have made progress this week and take home lessons learned to implement in the future, but most importantly, we continue to strengthen the bond amongst us. Together we are more than the sum of our individual parts.”
The final day of the event consisted of the tri-party staff talks, where the senior leaders from all three commands gathered to review the results of the TTX and discuss the way forward in the year to come.
“Security threats to North America can rarely be contained by borders, especially in the Maritime Domain. Frontier Sentinel allows us to work through the challenges of sharing information and resources to meet those threats and serves to strengthen our already excellent relationship with our US partners,” said Rear Adm. Brian Santarpia, commander of mysterious Joint Task Force Atlantic, which duplicates the MARLANT structure in place since 1968. “This week’s exercise reinforced this and will ensure continued interoperability in the years to come
Frontier Sentinel is an annual exercise between the three organizations that is the penultimate activity for ensuring the ability of the tri-party commands and tactical assets to work together. It places particular emphasis on highlighting challenges to interoperability and identifying solutions. Frontier Sentinel 20 was a tabletop discussion, with the live exercise running in 2021, based on feedback from this year’s discussion.
“Exercising our unique blend of polar operational capability, regulatory authority, and international leadership across the full spectrum of maritime governance is vital to the future of the Arctic,” said Vice Adm. Steven Poulin, commander of Coast Guard Atlantic Area. “As partners we continue to work with our allies on the mutual goal of ensuring a safe, secure, and cooperative Arctic, even as our aspiring near-peer competitors maneuver for strategic advantage in the area. This joint work with the US Navy and the Canadian Armed Forces ensures persistent presence–on the water, in communities, or in international forums.”
U.S. Second Fleet, reestablished in 2018 in response to the changing global security environment, develops and employs maritime forces ready to fight across multiple domains in the Atlantic and Arctic in order to ensure access, deter aggression and defend U.S., allied, and partner interests.