naval affairs

NAC News – Edition 439

NAC News – Edition 439

Your weekly national and international naval news for the week of December 10th, 2021

Edition 439  “There has never been a more propitious moment for Putin if he wants to invade Ukraine.” 29 November  2021 | Fiona Hill, Washington Post

Rod Hughes – Editor NAC News  (Comments welcome to help improve this service.)

Links to keep in touch with the NAC and RCN can be found at the bottom of this email.


Salty Dips Volume 11 – Some things pass. Some things change. Some just stay the same.  by NAC-Ottawa…Christmas gift?  Note you can order a print-on-demand soft/hard copy from Friesen Press now and thru several e-book providers (not all are available) as well.

NAC Children’s Books – 3rd in the series “Over the Horizon” now for sale $10 plus $3 for shipping. Special Holiday offer – buy all 3 for $25 (includes shipping) or 2 for $20.



Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) – Reimagining a Canadian National Security Strategy

Spy agency warned Trudeau China’s tactics becoming more ‘sophisticated … insidious’



Most RCAF Cyclone helicopters undergoing repairs after cracks discovered and Cracks in military’s Cyclone helicopters could be linked to folding tail: expert, then Cracked Cyclones: One military helicopter repaired using reinforcement in the tail

Loss of secret data puts navy’s handling of storage devices under investigation — again

Canadian defense minister: We will always ensure our military is ready, willing and able  and here is a clear way to declare Canada’s seriousness Conservatives demand clarity, timelines on next steps for fighter jets(Editor – I wonder if the programme will supply any anti-ship weapons?) then Government to decide whether to pick new fighter jet outright or ask bidders for better deal

Canada’s approach to Pacific Security: In the absence of a plan, a modest proposal (Editor – comprehensive Macdonald-Laurier Institute paper by Munk Senior Fellow Eric Lerhe who is also a NAC member)

CDR blog – Reviving Canada’s Submarine Force by Richard Nghiem

RCN Officers Participate in International Symposium

CPO1 Alena Mondelli named Woman of Courage, receiving national award

New large tug boats honour Canada’s maritime history

Meet HMCS Harry DeWolf’s C6 gunners deployed on Op Caribbe

Military’s former head of HR charged with sexual assault, indecent acts

The Citizen Sailors Virtual Cenotaph Project (Editor – UNTD extract, “As its signature contribution to the celebration of the centenary of the Canadian Naval Reserve in 2023, the UNTDA has embarked on a project to complete the stories of the 1,769 reservists who died in World War II.  While their stories exist, they are rarely seen in the Naval Reserve Divisions where they joined up.  The CSVC project will bring them home to the Naval Reserve Divisions across Canada.”)

China’s ambassador warns that banning Huawei from 5G would send ‘a very wrong signal’ (Editor – not a maritime issue, but one with substantial implications)

An Ontario lab is helping to make medals from a sunken Pearl Harbor battleship (Editor – I did not know there were 5 Canadians killed abord the USS Arizona!)

The Naval Reserve Link Published on Oct 27, 2021 The Link Magazine The Sea Remains our Home Vol. 29

Shipping’s Arctic Future

Damaged container ship headed to B.C. port, 6 weeks after fire



USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker: Dec. 6, 2021

New Fleet Forces Commander Caudle Says Navy ‘Will Own the Atlantic’

New Defense Bill Saves 2 Cruisers, Approves 13 Battle Force Ships; Adds 12 Super Hornets

SEAL Team 8 CO Dies in East Coast Training Incident

USS Daniel Inouye Commissioned in Hawaii

Navy Award SAIC $1.1 Billion Mk48 Torpedo Production contract

Luria: Sending Japan-based USS Ronald Reagan to Middle East ‘Biggest Strategic’ Mistake in a Lifetime and A Slavish Devotion to Forward Presence Has Nearly Broken the U.S. Navy then Let Carriers Do What They Do Best

Pearl Harbour (Editor – fascinating “The Mariner’s Mirror” 33:00 min podcast that discusses much more than the attack; also included is an excellent 5:37 min animated video about the INS Shokaku that took part in the attack.) and USNI article Plenty of Blame to Go Around

USMC’s CH-53K in First Ever Over-The-Horizon Heavy Lift Test

The U.S. Has a Leading Role to Play in Reducing Ocean Plastic

New Counting Method Suggests U.S. Ship Logjam Is Longer Than Ever and Counterfeit Consumer Goods Worth $30M Seized at California Ports



European Union Maintaining Uneasy Maritime Relationship with China, Admiral Says (Editor – 1:03:50 hr CSIS interview with French/EU Vice Adm. Hervé Bléjean the Director-General of the European Union Military Staff video included)

The decline of American naval superiority, the National Defense Authorization Act 2022 and the re-emergence of navalism

Biden’s democracy summit all about disinviting China (Editor – not a maritime article but a summit with significant implications)

Cyber Presence Operations Key to Pentagon’s Gray Zone Conflict with China

China Completes Mine-Laying Drill in South China Sea

China’s huge navy becomes a massive headache for it and The China threat and lessons from the collapse of the Soviet Union (Editor – different perspective and in the first one a quirky 6:04 min video)

Lithuania’s Goods Barred From Entering Chinese Ports

How to get eight N-subs by 2038 and Preparing for spent nuclear fuel disposal

How US & Allies Are Helping Taiwan Build Secretive Submarine Project Amid China Invasion Threat (Editor – 7:10 min video, ignore the annoying music!) and Taiwan to Accelerate Construction of Home Grown Submarine Prototype, Reports Say

Illegal Strategy: China Suspected Of Unauthorized Sea Floor Survey In Pacific

India to ink Defence Logistics Sharing Agreement with Russia

Indonesian Navy Receives Fifth Sempari-Class Batch-3 Fast Missile Boat

Philippines to Purchase More Black Hawks, Patrol Vessels

MDA Discusses Potential Aegis Ashore Options For Guam

Chinese boats spotted illegally hauling tuna in Indian Ocean

GRSE launches first large survey vessel Sandhayak for Indian Navy

Maldives Receives Record $10M Fine From Bulker That Damaged Reef

COSCO Ship Loses Containers During Pacific Crossing



Russia Ukraine: Biden warns Russia against Ukraine ‘red lines’ and Biden warns Putin of ‘consequences’ if Russia invades Ukraine

Ukraine State Border Guard’s New Patrol Boat Launched by OCEA (Editor – 3:40 min video)

Russia Security Says Ukraine Warship Poses ‘Threat’ Sailing Toward Disputed Waters and of course Kiev denies its warship entered any restricted zones

Moscow aims to enhance presence in Svalbard as part of hybrid-strategy, expert warns

Admiral Sir Tony Radakin addresses security threats in a ‘pivotal time’ for defence

Russian Navy aircraft deliver missile strikes in drills as US warship deploys to Black Sea

UK Carrier Strike Group approaches final days of largest maritime deployment in a generation and Sailor arrested after F-35 aircraft carrier crash video leak and finally Crashed British F-35B recovered from Mediterranean Sea and F-35 fleet attrition rate estimate revealed and on the upside lots of fun eye candy! Photo essay – the Carrier Strike Group on the homeward leg

French Navy’s new multi-mission frigate #Alsace enters active duty! (Editor – 8:50 min video)

NATO ships take part in Greece-led NIRIIS 2021 naval exercise

Norway deploys radiation drones along its coast amidst nuclear emergency concerns

Royal Navy outline plans for autonomous mine-hunting systems

Turkish Navy Commissions Intelligence Ship TCG Ufuk

Kongsberg to supply sonar and navigation solutions for Type 212CD boats

HMS Northumberland helps push student pilots to the limit

Turkey Will Block Foreign Hydrocarbon Exploration Activities In Its Maritime Jurisdictions and here is an article from earlier in 2021 that helps explain the issue Turkey, Europe, and the Eastern Mediterranean: Charting a way out of the current deadlock

Photos: Ice Hampers Firefighting Efforts Aboard Burning Bulker and Swedish Coast Guard Says Time is Running Out for Fighting Cargo Fire

Convoy Completes Historic Late Season NSR Transit in Heavy Ice

Hapag-Lloyd Agrees to ‘Eye-Watering’ $130,000 a Day for Panamax Charter

Russian Ship Detained After Drunken Crew Nearly Run Ship Onto Beach

Designs for 1,800 TEU Wind-Assisted Containership Approved by BV

Maersk Reveals Design Changes for Efficiency of New Dual-Fuel Boxships



Iran’s Newest Warship Has Fallen On Its Side In A Dry Dock (Updated)

CTF 150 seizes record amount of illegal drugs in 2021

Navantia launches the 5th Avante 2200 corvette for Saudi Arabia

Naval Group Launches ‘Bani Yas’, The First Gowind Corvette For UAE Navy

US Navy conducts evaluations of new MANTAS T-38 USV Unmanned Surface Vessel in Arabian Gulf



One of the strongest ocean currents is speeding up, concerning scientists (Editor – “between 2003-2019 Antarctica’s ice sheet lost an average of 118 gigatons of ice each year”, a 51 sec video explains this element of climate change)

US Intel Report: China Set to Establish First Military Base in Atlantic Ocean

IMO Assembly Adopts Amendments to Expand Council to 52 Member States

Danish Anti-Piracy Action Jolts Gulf of Guinea Maritime Leaders

Pacific Ocean garbage patch is immense plastic habitat

UN: Despite Lull in Attacks, Somali Pirate Threat is Still Real

Subsea Robotics: Boaty McBoatface Heads to Antarctica



Editor – As a retired Naval Officer I understood that during the second world war the Merchant Marine had heroically undertaken the arduous task of moving a staggering amount of just about everything including war materiel from around the world to Britain.  I knew that they had taken substantial losses, but I had not understood the full scope of the damage inflicted on the ships and the lives lost.  While doing research for NAC News I found this web page that I think you will find informative.  Canadian Merchant Ship Losses of the Second World War, 1939-1945 by Rob Fisher (Revised June 2001).

I subsequently found out that back then NOAC played a part in the work of its creation.  The diversity in ships, cargo, location, and for many their demise, is extraordinary as illustrated by the stories of the Caribou, Princes Marguerite, and Rose Castle.  For more details it has been recommended you buy or find NAC member Fraser McKee’s book, Sink all the Shipping There, or poke around in this useful site

November SSN Sub Brief (Editor – chaotic start of nuclear submarines in the USSR in an amazingly detailed 1:00:36 hr video)

Papa SSGN Sub Brief (Editor – 23:30 min video)

Maritime History: CV1 — USS Langley was a Trailblazer


(If you see any omissions or errors please inform me, and more modern significant dates are also welcome.  The list draws primarily from the Directory of History and Heritage’s comprehensive “Significant Dates in Canadian Military History”, the now defunct “Canada Channel”, “Legion Magazine”, Roger Litwiller’s excellent website, the encyclopedic guidance of NAC member and author Fraser McKee, and anywhere else I can find credible information.

  • 1 December 1948 HMCS Shearwater, RCN Air Station, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, is commissioned.
  • 2 December 1946 HMCS Middlesex goes aground on Shut-in Island near Halifax and becomes a total loss.
  • 2 December 1968 The Canadian submarine HMCS Rainbow is commissioned; purchased from the United States, it was originally the USS Argonaut launched in 1944.
  • 3 December 1969 As the aircraft carrier HMCS Bonaventure is decommissioned, the aviation fuel tanks are emptied and cleaned, but on of the tanks does not vent properly; two sailors are overcome by the fumes and another two lose their lives during the rescue attempt.
  • 4 December 1940 HMCS Prince Henry is commissioned as an Armed Merchant Cruiser.
  • 4-6 Dec 1950 A United Nations task force under Captain J.V. Brock, RCN, in HMCS Cayuga, and consisting of HMC Ships Athabaskan and Sioux, His Majesty’s Australian Ships Warramunga and Bataan, the USS Forest Royal, covered the seaborne withdrawal of civilians and elements of the 8th Army (US) threatened by enemy advances in the Chinnampo area, Korea.
  • 5 December 1950 HMCS Athabaskan and HMCS Cayuga bombard the port of Chinnampo, Korea (04-05 Apr).
  • 6 December 1917 Halifax Explosion.  A huge explosion in Halifax harbour destroys the naval facilities and much of the city.
  • 7 December 1941 Canada declares war on Romania, Hungary, Finland, and Japan.
  • 7 December 1941 HMCS Windflower is lost and 23 of her crew perish after a collision with a Dutch freighter SS Zypenburg on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland.
  • 8 December 1918 The Royal Canadian Naval Air Service is discontinued and the cadets being trained are demobilized.
  • 10 December 1939 The first Canadian troop convoy of 7,400 soldiers sails for Britain escorted out of Halifax by HMC ships Ottawa, Restigouche, Fraser and St. Laurent.
  • 12 December 1969  RCN retires aircraft carrier HMCS Bonaventure after 12 years of service; “Bonnie” never saw combat, but was scram­bled dur­ing the Octo­ber Mis­sile Crisis; later sold for scrap. Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • 13 December 1940 HMCS Royal Roads is commissioned as a training establishment for Probationary Sub-Lieutenants.
  • 14 December 1915 Flight Sub-Lieutenant A.S. Ince, RNAS while flying as observer in a Viewpoint aircraft shot down in flames a German two-seater.  The victory, the first confirmed success credited to a Canadian airman, won for Ince the DSC, the first decoration awarded a Canadian in the RNAS.
  • 17 December 1944 HMCS MONTREAL (frigate) rescues survivors of U-Boat 1209 wrecked on Wolf Rock southwest of Land’s End.
  • 19 December 1945 The Government of Canada approves in principle the formation of a naval air branch.
  • 20 December 1941 HMCS Adversus, ex-RCMP patrol ship, while on patrol was lost at sea when caught in a blizzard and run aground on McNutts Island near Shelburne, NS.  All 16 crew survive.
  • 20 December 1943 HMCS Prince David is re-commissioned as a Landing Ship Infantry (Medium).
  • 24 December 1944 HMCS Clayoquot is torpedoed by a U806 and sinks while taking station on convoy XB.139, in the approaches to Halifax harbour.  Eight of her crew were lost.
  • 26 December 1954 HMCS ships HURON and IROQUOIS leave Korea for their home base in Halifax.
  • 27 December 1942 HMC Ships St. Laurent commanded by LCdr Guy S. Windeyer, RCN, with HMCS Chilliwack, commanded by LCdr Clifton P. Coughlin,  RCNVR, with HMCS Battleford commanded by Lt F.A. Beck, RCNVR, and HMCS Napanee commanded by Lt L.S. Henderson, RCNVR and other escorts in a melee sank the German submarine U-356 in the mid-Atlantic.
  • 27 December 1944 HMCS St. Thomas commanded by LCdr Leslie P. Denny, RCNR in company with HMCS Sea Cliff commanded by LCdr J.E. Harrington, RCNVR directed St. Thomas onto her ASDIC contact and sank the German submarine U-877 in the North Atlantic.
  • 28 December 1940 HMCS Prince David is commissioned as an Armed Merchant Cruiser.
  • 29 December 1837: Canadian ‘volunteers’ under Captain Andrew Drew (ex-RN) cross upper Niagara River, seize supply schooner Caroline, supporting W.L. Mackenzie’s rebellious force on American Navy Island above the Falls.  1 US citizen killed, the ship is cut loose, strands on rocks above the Falls, breaks up and goes over.  Canadians row home.
  • 31 December 1990 The crew of HMCS Preserver flies to the Persian Gulf to relieve HMCS Protecteur’s crew.
  • 31 December 1992 New Canadian military honours are created: The Victoria Cross, Star of Military Valour, Medal of Military Valour and Mention in Dispatches.


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