naval affairs

NAC News – Edition 506

NAC News – Edition 506


Your weekly national and international naval news for the week of March 24th, 2023

Edition: 506   Quote: “Remarkably, the dramatic reduction of MARPAC squadrons had nothing to with the unification crisis; rather, it was the direct result of a general reduction in the overall defence budget and the growing obsolescence of many of the navy’s warships.  With even the nearly new St. Laurent type destroyer escorts requiring costly upgrades, the RCN had little choice in order to maintain some semblance of the service’s commitment to NATO.”  Maritime Command Pacific – The Royal Canadian Navy’s West Coast Fleet in the Early Cold War, David Zimmerman, pg. 159, UBC Press 2015

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.  Contact Kevin Goheen if you wish someone to be added to the NAC News email distribution. (Influencer or good candidates to become a NAC member, and note the first year’s NAC/Branch membership dues are waived)


5 April 2023 ABCMI: You are invited to a Celebration of BC’s Maritime Heritage: Workboats for the World. The Robert Allan Story

18-20 April 2023 MARTECH Conference: Evolution Through Technology and Talent, Vancouver BC.

3 May  NAC and the RCN will mount a Battle of the Atlantic Gala Dinner, an event that in the past has been a highlight of the Associations’ annual programme.  As in the past, it will be a memorable evening held at the Canadian War Museum.  The evening will commemorate the contributions of the members of the RCN, RCAF, and Canada’s Merchant Navy who served in the Battle of the Atlantic, as well as naval veterans of the Korean War.  This year we will also celebrate the Naval Reserve Centennial.  This is an advance notice to NAC members to give you the opportunity to register in advance of the open registration.  If you have not already done so, this would also be an opportune to renew your NAC membership for 2023.  Detailed information on the event and the menu options is available at 2023 Battle of the Atlantic Gala.  Registration can be completed from that page.  Should you need assistance with the registration or have further questions, please contact us at



The Secretary General’s Annual Report 2022 (Editor – comparative stats on pages 51-53 and page 152-165)

Turkey, Hungary to approve Finland’s NATO membership

International Criminal Court issues arrest warrant for Putin over war crimes in Ukraine (Editor – don’t see this every day, details on the International Criminal Court.  Russia, one of the 3 of 5 permanent seats of the UN security Council who are not members.  Canada formally joined in 2000.)

Foreign interference is the ‘greatest strategic threat’ facing Canada’s national security, CSIS says



Message from the Chief of the Defence Staff on the Appointment of Chief Warrant Officer Bob McCann as the 15th Canadian Armed Forces Chief Warrant Officer (Editor – Thanks and BZ to CPO1 Gilles Grégoire for his tremendous 36yrs in the RCN and his commitment and dedication to Canada during his senior appointments culminating as the CAFCWO)

Canada’s top general visits Esquimalt

Canada unveils hollow plan for China and the Indo-Pacific region.

Underwater drones to seek and destroy mines

Special forces base at Dwyer Hill will be modernized: $1.4 billion project will see construction of 23 new buildings

Submarines offer value for money (Editor – third item down at the link)

Military expecting to save $30M per year with targeted housing benefit for troops (Editor – I’m not sure this headline does the programme justice, time will tell) and Thousands of military members to be cut off as Ottawa introduces expanded housing benefit

CGAI Global Exchange, Colin Robertson speaks to the Hon. John Manley, Gary Doer, and David MacNaughton about Biden’s visit to Ottawa and reveal what happens behind the curtains of bilateral meetings in a 59:41 min podcast Mr. Biden Goes to Ottawa then Canadian defence investments have ‘changed the tone’ of U.S. relations: ambassador

HMCS Haida – The Last Tribal (Editor – 43:01 min video)

CAF Story | I am a woman.

60 seconds with Nancy Anderson, Cost Estimator (Editor – 60 sec video)

NAC Naval Affairs Program Briefing Note # 4 What does the RCN do? (Editor – please share)

Lookout: 20 March 2023 Volume 68, Issue 11

Trident Monday 20 March 2023 Volume 57, Issue 6



USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker: March 20, 2023

NORTHCOM: Russia Close to Persistent Nuclear Cruise Missile Attack Sub Presence off U.S. Coasts

High-energy laser weapon prototypes to be fabricated by early 2028

Navy seeks $3.6 billion over 5 years for 64 hypersonic Conventional Prompt Strike rounds

CIMSEC: distributed maritime operations – a salvo equation analysis

SECNAV, CNO Pushing Plans to Decommission 11 Warships in Fiscal Year 2024

USS Theodore Roosevelt is out of the yard, heading back to San Diego

The Super Massive 252 Foot Tall Aircraft Carrier (Editor – impressive 11:28 min video) and a bit of background See How These US Aircraft Carriers Rule the Sea! (Editor – 10:29 min video)

US Genius Techniques to Launch Most Advanced Billion $ Assault Ship Carrier (Editor – Starts slowly but gains interest in a 17:35 min video)

Exploring the USS Minnesota (SSN-783): A Deep Dive into America’s Finest Submarine (Editor – 8:29 min video)

Both citing cost, leaders of Navy, Marines dig in on amphib ship fight

OSD Comptroller Says U.S. Shipyards Can’t Build 3 Destroyers a Year

Nuclear-powered sub Boise, docked since 2017, may get funds for overhaul by end of this year

$60 Million Fighter Jet Found on the Bottom of the Sea (Editor – 8:31 min video)

CIMSEC: Fighting DMO, pt. 5: missile salvo patterns and maximizing volume of fire

60 Minutes: Interview 3/19/2023: The State of the Navy; Only in America

U.S. Navy responds to China’s naval buildup (Editor – video starts 2 min in, until 28:43 min)

HII, Ocean Aero agreement takes aim at linking unmanned vessels

Port of Los Angeles Sees Huge 43% Cargo Drop

Uncrewed Ocean Mapping Vehicle Closing Gaps in Remote Waters



North Korea Tests New Underwater Nuclear Attack ‘Drone’: KCNA

Brookings Institution – Around the halls: AUKUS defines an emerging alliance at sea (Executive Director- Bruce Jones, Brooking’s Senior Fellow and Director, Project on International Order and Strategy, is a Canadian)

N-subs: wider implications for RAN (Editor – I suppose this discussion/debate will rage for years, perhaps decades) New submarines – dreams and nightmares and AUKUS is underway, but key challenges remain in addition Look beyond the Washington beltway for why AUKUS matters

Japan Faces Readiness Hurdle As it Modernizes Military, Former Defense Chief Says

Russia boosts defences near Japan, accuses US of expanding Asia-Pacific presence

Will ‘impactful projection’ see the return of the fixed-wing Naval Air Arm?

U.S. Begins Air Base Rehab in Philippines as Part of Basing Agreement and U.S. Needs Air Superiority, Ship-Killing Weapons to Defend Taiwan, Pacific Air Forces Commander Says

Chinese military warns off US destroyer illegally entering territorial waters near China’s Xisha Islands: PLA Spokesperson and of course U.S. 7th Fleet Denies Destroyer was Expelled from South China Sea Island Chain

Could Indonesia Block Foreign Nuclear Subs at Maritime Choke Points?

Indian Navy, Royal Saudi Arabia Navy Prepare For Bilateral Naval Exercise

JMSDF’s second Taigei-class submarine enters fleet

407 Squadron Seeks Another Sea Dragon Win

DSEI Japan 2023: SPY-7, ASEV, Landing craft for JGDSF, Patria, Safran, US-2 Seaplane (Editor – potpourri in a 9:17 min video)

PLA Navy’s Type 075 amphibious assault ship hosts multidimensional landing drill

Indian Navy to Order BrahMos Cruise Missiles for $2.5 Billion

India launches 2nd Anti Submarine Warfare Shallow Water Craft Androth

Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina offers India to use Chattogram, Sylhet ports

Singapore Navy Transfers Two Decommissioned Fearless-Class Patrol Vessels To Brunei

Chinese troops set out for China-Cambodia joint exercise amid intensive foreign military exchanges and Peacefully intended China-Cambodia joint exercise unlike US-led confrontational drills in Asia-Pacific: experts

3rd edition of Sea Dragon 23 ASW exercise has begun in Indo Pacific

Bangladesh inaugurates first submarine base BNS Sheikh Hasina

Chinese state company wins contract to redevelop Solomon Islands port, prompting cautious response




3 Ukrainian Unmanned surface Vessels attempted to strike Crimea

Russia and Ukraine extend grain deal despite disagreement

S&P Global: Russia’s ghost fleet estimated at 434 vessels and Tanker Giants Sprout From Nowhere To Keep Russian Oil Moving (Editor – greed remains one of the deadly sins) and buckshee vessels Oil Spills and Near Misses: More Ghost Tankers Ship Sanctioned Fuel

Netherlands Will Hand Over MCM Vessels To Ukraine (Editor – the Montreux Convention is not “Ankara’s ban” as mentioned in the article)

Editor – outside the naval sphere, but relevant Why Russia is Scared of US Gravity Bombs (Editor – 45 sec video) with more details Bunker-Buster: The Air Force’s B61 Mod 12 Missile Is Literally Earth Shattering


Arctic shipping and energy on Putin’s agenda with Xi Jinping and Shipbuilders to continue building icebreakers for Russian Navy

In Show of Unity, NATO and EU Heads Mark Historic Visit to North Sea Platform

Admiral Moiseev kicks off command and staff exercise, NATO scrambles F-35s from Evenes

Cost Estimates for Repairs to HMS Prince of Wales Skyrocket

British frigate and Norwegian submarine train together

Why has the Royal Navy decommissioned 6 ships in a year?

SNMCMG2 completes Greek-led MCM exercise Ariadne 23

Saab Damen Reveals Dutch Submarine Plans

Turkish Navy Boosts EW Capabilities With Meteksan’s NAZAR Laser Electronic Attack System

Türkiye starts construction of 2nd Ukraine Navy Ada class corvette

Cantiere Navale Vittoria delivers Malta’s flagship OPV P71

Commandant Bouan Deploys for Operation EUNAVFORMED IRINI

Video: Croatian Police Detonate Giant WWII Mine at Port of Rijeka

Research Ship that Found Famous WWII Wrecks Damaged in Scotland Dry Dock, Several Injured and 25 Injured as Research Vessel Tips Over in Dry Dock

Spanish Police Arrest Stowaway With 200 Kilos of Cocaine

Italy’s Coast Guard Rescues More Than 700 Migrants



Second-largest maritime exercise in the world completed in Middle East

Security Belt-2023 joint maritime exercise concludes

First Woman Selected as CMF’s Next Senior Enlisted Leader

US Navy delivers three patrol ships to Egyptian Navy



“Barents and Arctic cooperation can continue without Russia”: ambassador

Ministers Seek to Combat Organized Crime in Global Fisheries

Global Goods Trade Softening from 2022’s Record Level

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star completes Operation Deep Freeze 2023 mission, departs Antarctica

Irish Naval ship set for North Africa to police Libyan arms embargo



In 1984, a Russian Submarine Collided with a U.S. Aircraft Carrier (Editor – 45 sec video)

The Mariner’s Mirror: Maritime Special Forces 1: The SBS and Combat Divers (Editor – podcasts are 33 & 39 mins respectively.)



25 March 1941  The oil tanker MV Canadolite (Imperial Oil Company, Toronto) had been built in 1926 by the German shipyard Friedrich Krupp Germaniawerft, which also built many of the U-boats encountered during the Battle of the Atlantic.  On 22 March 1941, the Canadolite departed Freetown, Sierra Leone, West Africa.  The tanker was in ballast, and she was steaming independently across the Atlantic to receive a cargo of fuel oil in Caripito, Venezuela (southwest of Trinidad).  On 25 March, about 700 nm from Freetown and about 2400 nm remaining in the transit the tanker was intercepted by the German auxiliary cruiser Kormoran, (formerly the merchant vessel Steiermark, also built by Friedrich Krupp Germaniawerft).  When challenged to stop, the Canadolite attempted to transmit distress signals and tried to escape.  The Kormoran, jammed the signals, opened fire and the tanker stopped.  The Canadolite was dispatched to Bordeaux under a German prize crew.  Embarked as prisoners were 40 members of the Canadolite crew and other prisoners (crews and passengers from other allied merchant ships).  The Master of the Canadolite, Chief Engineer, Radio Officer and the senior DEMS gunner remained as prisoners in the Kormoran.  The Canadolite became the blockade runner Sudetenland, which was bombed and sunk by RAF aircraft at Brest on 14 August 1944.

25 March 1941  On 23 March 1941, the SS Beaverbrae (Canadian Pacific Steamships Ltd. Montreal – home port London, UK) departed Liverpool and was steaming independently (no escorts) to St John NB, with a general cargo and mail.  She would be taking the route north of Iceland and then south through the Denmark Strait into the mid-Atlantic.  On 25 March, she was about 280 nm SE of Iceland and on a northerly course when she was bombed by a Luftwaffe Focke-Wulf aircraft causing a major uncontrollable fire “burning fore & aft”.  The crew abandoned ship to the lifeboats and the Beaverbrae was scuttled.

26 March 1941 HMCS Otter was a civilian, steel-hulled yacht named Conseco that was converted for naval service and commissioned in Oct 1940.  The ship was used as a training vessel and for anti-submarine patrols as part of the Halifax Local Defence Force.  Otter was tasked to escort HMS Talisman into port and was await the submarine’s arrival near the Sambro Light Vessel when a fire broke out.  While fighting the fire, the engines and electric pumps failed, and the Captain gave the order to abandon ship after the code books had been destroyed and the magazines had been flooded.  The crew faced heavy seas and one lifeboat capsized while awaiting rescue.  Two officers and seventeen ratings died in the incident, all were RCNVR/RCNR, and six Mentions in Despatches were awarded, three posthumously.

29 March 1940  The British ship Esmond inbound from St. John’s Newfoundland , rammed and sank the Halifax pilot vessel Hebridean.  Six pilots and three members of the crew were drowned.

29 March 1945  HMCS Teme (frigate) is torpedoed by U Boat 246 in the English Channel off Falmouth and declared a total loss.

30 March 1943 – The Canadian built (North Vancouver Ship Repair) but British crewed SS Fort A La Corne, was in convoy ET-16 (16 merchant ships) westbound from Algiers to Gibraltar.  At 2015 on 30 March, when the convoy was 65 nm West of Algiers (36°52’N 1°47’E), the freighter was torpedoed and sunk by U-596 (Gunter Jahn).  The master, 43 crew members and ten gunners were picked up by an escort vessel and landed at Gibraltar.

30 March 1972  The last “Up Spirits” was piped in HMC Ships ending the longstanding daily tot of rum issue.

31 March 1945  HMCS Conestoga, the Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Service training establishment, is paid off.

31 March 1991  The Gulf War between Iraq and the United Nations coalition ends.

SIGNIFICANT RCN DATES – If you see any omissions or errors please inform me, and any more modern significant dates are also welcomed.  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”, The Naval Service of Canada, Its Official History Vol 1-3, NAC member Roger Litwiller’s excellent web site, encyclopedic guidance from NAC member Fraser McKee, the site, and anywhere else I can find credible information.  For the merchant ship history, a special thanks to NAC member Bill Dziadyk for his able assistance and detailed work.  The RCN lost 1,965 men and 24 ships during the War, most of them in the Atlantic.  A comprehensive list of the staggering merchant losses – sunk, damaged, or lost – Canadian Merchant Ship Losses of the Second World War, 1939-1945 by Rob Fisher {Revised June 2001}, and for the loss of individual personnel RCN Ship Histories, Convoy Escort Movements, Casualty Lists 1939-1947)

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