USFF, Canadian Forces Kick Off EX FS12

USFF, Canadian Forces Kick Off EX FS12

The combined U.S. and Canadian Exercise Frontier Sentinel 12 (EX FS12) formally kicked off with a live diving demonstration by the Royal Canadian Navy’s, Fleet Diving Unit Atlantic (FDUA), at the Sydney Marine Terminal, May 1.

Led by Royal Canadian navy, Rear Adm. Dave Gardam, Canadian Joint Task Force Atlantic (JTFA), EX FS12 is a combined U.S. Fleet Forces (USFF), Coast Guard Atlantic Area (USCG CAA) and JTFA exercise scheduled to take place through May 9 along the U.S. Eastern Seaboard and in Sydney, Nova Scotia, and Groton, Conn. Canadian and U.S. naval forces will train together to handle a security-related event focusing on maritime homeland security for Canada and the United States.

During the exercise, a notional explosion on a ship in the Sydney harbor caused by a simulated mine will trigger the Mine Counter Measure Task Force to deploy and commence mine clearing operations. As part of the mine clearing operations, U.S. Navy’s Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (MDSU) 2 based in Virginia Beach, Va., will work with Canadian forces to clear the partially submerged trawler Cape Ann III from Sydney Harbor.

“As part of this bilateral exercise, we are involving our MDSU divers in Sydney to work with our Canadian partners to use this opportunity to practice their considerable skills in as close to a real-world situation or challenge as you can get,” said Navy Capt. Dominic DeScisciolo, EX FS12 mine warfare commander, and director, Mine Warfare Battle Staff at Naval Mine and Anti-Submarine Warfare Command, based in San Diego. “When a navigation way is obstructed, you need to clear it so commerce and assistance can continue.”

Sydney Harbor offers a rare training opportunity and an ideal opportunity to conduct it, Gardam added.

Gardam said EX FS12 enables the two nations to create and implement a civilian assistance plan, a bilateral agreement that makes it easy for armed forces from one nation to support military and civil support from another.

Naval Today Staff, May 03, 2012; Image: navy