naval affairs

NAC News – Edition 535

NAC News – Edition 535

Your weekly national and international naval news for the week of  October 20th, 2023

Edition: 535 Quote: “A more successful Indo-Pacific policy initiative were the exercises, coincidental with the prime minister’s travels, involving HMCS Ottawa, HMCS Vancouver and MV Asterix with the Japanese navy and then the transit of HMCS Ottawa with American and Japanese allies through the East China Sea. Ottawa’s encounters with Chinese warships remind us that for Canada to make headway on our economic objectives, those living in the Indo-Pacific need to see that we are equally invested in their regional security. 12 September 2023, Colin Robertson, Policy Magazine

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)


Editor – This edition marks my 6th year as Editor and is my 312th since taking over as Editor in 2017.  These “interesting times” are making it easy to collect worthy articles!

2 November 2023 The Deep Blue Forum 2023. Registration. The $50 ticket discount code for NAC members is DB23_NAC.  All serving navy & government personnel can register for FREE.  Venue – The Westin Ottawa, 11 Colonel By Drive.  Not Able to Attend in Person?  All speaker sessions will be live streamed, to allow for virtual attendance.

6 December 2023 7:30 am – 6:30 pm Ottawa time.  Industrial Participation Association of Canada (IPAC) announced their first ever Industrial Participation Conference, titled The Changing Landscape of Industrial Participation in Canadian Federal Procurements Conference to be held at the National Arts Centre, Ottawa.  Registration is free for public sector!



The Mood of Americans Ahead of the 2024 Presidential Election (Editor – not a maritime story but broad implications explained in a CGAI 1:00:54 hr podcast)

The End of Arctic Exceptionalism



*** Petition to the Government of Canada to make Battle of the Atlantic Sunday a National Day of Observance – e-4639 (Holidays and observances) (Editor – Sign it at the bottom of the linked page.  It only takes a minute – sign the petition and spread the word!)

Approximately 1,400 Military Personnel Participate in Exercise CUTLASS FURY 2023

HMCS Shawinigan and Summerside join NATO Minehunting exercise in North Sea

CIMSEC: The Royal Canadian Navy must be equipped for real-world pacific scenarios

Philippe Lagassé: Time to worry about our warships

Honouring the past: The National Naval Reserve Monument repaired and rededicated (Editor – great ceremony, lots of great pics) plus The Rededication of the National Naval Reserve Monument by Governor General Mary Simon took place today Saturday October 14 at 1300 at HMCS Carleton, Dow’s Lake, Ottawa.

Cost of Canada’s new flagship ocean science vessel jumps to $1.28B

Canadian Forces personnel leaving the ranks over lack of affordable housing, senior officer warns

Niobe Day – October 21

The HMCS Kootenay explosion (Editor – A commemorative service marking the 54th anniversary (23 October 1969) of the tragic explosion in HMCS Kootenay, will take place on Monday 23 October at 10:30 a.m. at the Bonaventure Anchor Memorial, Point Pleasant Park.)

Remembrance Day Sentry Program Personnel Announced

The Royal Canadian Legion’s Poppy Campaign will start on October 27th.  A recent article Nellie McClung, a military mother (Editor – a sad part of her family history that undoubtedly shaped her opinions.  Tragically countless families were affected this same way)

The Government of Canada Honours Commodore (Ret’d) Laraine Orthlieb as a Hometown Hero (Editor – BZ to a NAC-Calgary Branch member)

Port of Prince Rupert optimistic of expansion

Keewatin expected to arrive in Kingston Tuesday

Update from the Association’s PSHCP pensioner representative

Former JTF2 Assaulter’s Maritime Training Nightmare! (Editor – lessons learnt, but try not to laugh, a 6:34 min video)

Canadian Fishery Patrol Turns Up 3,000 Illegal Shark Fins

CGAI: What Foreign Diplomats Need to Know about Canada: Personal Reflections (Editor – non-maritime but an interesting summary)

CITIZEN SAILORS VIRTUAL CENOTAPH Lieut-Commander Clifton Rexford (Tony) Coughlin, D S C, O-16110

New contract awarded to administer the Pensioners’ Dental Services Plan

Lookout: Volume 68, Issue 41, October 16, 2023

Trident: Monday 16 October 2023 Volume 57, Issue 21

NAC Naval Affairs Programme Briefing Note #31 Ship Maintenance  (Editor – please share to anyone you think may benefit from the knowledge, after all, that’s what our naval affairs programme is all about – educating Canadians)



USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker: Oct. 16, 2023

Coast Guard Short 3,500 Personnel in FY 2023, Fagan Says

Meet the MQ-4C Triton: US Navy’s Largest UAV (Editor – a wow 10:10 min video)

Congressional Commission Calls for Third Nuclear Shipyard to Bolster U.S. Strategic Forces

US Navy Breaks Ground on Submarine Workforce Training Center

Vertical Launch Systems Evolve (Editor – great summary in a 4:28 min video)

Senators push Biden to release submarine costs for AUKUS

USCG Accepts 10th National Security Cutter “Calhoun”

More Investment Needed in Submarine Search and Rescue Technology

Submarine tender returns to Guam after yearlong, $38 million overhaul in California

US and Venezuela Near Deal to End Crude Export Sanctions



Philippines condemned for serious violation of China’s sovereignty in S.China Sea

US Navy reconnaissance plane passes through Taiwan Strait, closely watched by Chinese jets and USS Ronald Reagan Arrives in South Korea for Port Visit; China Protests Navy P-8A Flight Through Taiwan Strait

Monitoring and surveillance activities by Canada against illicit maritime activities including ship-to-ship transfers with Chinese fighters engaged in ‘unsafe’ intercept of Canadian surveillance plane, commander says and (Editor – 1:29 min Global News video actually from the Aurora “Are we okay?”: Chinese military jet intercepts Canadian Forces plane in “aggressive manner”

Japan Scrambles Fighters More than 400 Times in First Half of FY 2023

Chinese Fighters Made 15 “Risky and Coercive” Passes at US Navy Aircraft

Russian nuclear submarine SSBN Generalissimo Suvorov arrives at permanent base in Kamchatka

Report: Sanctioned Russian Supply Ship Lady R Spotted in North Korea

Japan Launches Fourth Taigei-Class Submarine for JMSDF

Japan Performs First Ever Railgun Test From Ship At Sea

Op-Ed: Time for Australia to Commit to South China Sea Patrols

France Offers New ‘Scorpene Evolved’ Li-Ion Submarine To Indonesia

Navy signs deal to re-engine 3 Warships (Editor – big change)

Hydrogen and Bioethanol-driven subs fight in the Indian Ocean

Defence Ministry signs contract with Mazagon Dock for Training Ship (Editor – India)

India’s New Mega Port Hopes To Attract The World’s Biggest Ships

Australian Police Seize Meth-Filled Wood Planer at Port Botany

Philippine Authorities Seize $38M in Meth at Manila Container Terminal




Signal: Russia deploys jets with hypersonic missiles to patrol Black Sea

Ukraine Claims Strike on Russian Patrol Ship off Sevastopol

Russia Closes Border to Ukrainians, Affecting Port Calls and Crew Change

CGAI: Ukraine, Canada and the ‘Call of History’

Minister Blair announces new military donations for Ukraine at the 16th meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group (Editor – I wonder what Ukrainian system will use the old Iroquois Class 76mm ammunition)

Russian Attacks on Ukrainian Ports and Ships Destroyed 300,000 Tons of Grain Since July, Kyiv Says

Tanker Sailing to Ukraine Damaged by Mine in the Black Sea

Ukraine Reports More Than 50 Transits on Black Sea Corridor


Brookings: Russia, nuclear threats, and nuclear signaling

Swedish Telecom Cable Was Damaged at the Same Time as Baltic Pipeline (Editor – another one) then Nuclear-Powered Cargo Ship is a Suspect in Baltic Pipeline Breach and the plot thickens Russian, Chinese ships spotlighted by Finnish police after pipeline damage, are now pairing up outside northern Norway

Sweden’s silent Gotland class submarines tailor-made for protecting Baltic Sea (Editor – watch the embedded 2:34 min video)

Saab supports NATO underwater exercises with underwater systems

NATO Defence Ministers launch initiative to enhance maritime surveillance capabilities

Renewed Focus on ASW at Exercise Autumn Archer

Work starts on gigantic hall where two Type 26 frigates can be built side by side (Editor – recommend watching the embedded 1:42 min video)

Spanish Navy receives eight new Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk helicopters

BAE Systems Completes Large Section Of First Dreadnought-Class Submarin

Russia unveils upgraded Komar naval missile with enhanced aerial and surface target capabilities

Modern Unmanned Minesweepers for the Navy

Dutch navy starts retiring submarines, but successor still unknown

WATCH: World’s largest hybrid ship hits the water



U.S. Destroyer Used SM-2s to Down 3 Land Attack Missiles Launched from Yemen, Says Pentagon

Carriers USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, USS Carl Vinson Deploy; Ike Will Join Carrier Ford in Eastern Med and Pentagon Extends USS Gerald R. Ford Deployment, Will Move U.S. Marines Closer to Israel

U.S. Sends 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, Navy Ships to Israel with U.S. Navy Dispatches Command Ship to Israel

Israeli Navy uses Sa’ar 6-Class corvettes for first live combat against Hamas

Evergreen Declares Force Majeure on Israeli-Bound Shipment and Tanker Sails to Israeli Red Sea Port to Avoid Conflict

U.S. Evacuates Nationals from Israel on Chartered Royal Caribbean Ship (Editor – old school solution, but effective idea)

44th Chinese naval escort taskforce concludes visit to Oman



French Navy Carrier Patrols Gulf of Guinea

Scientists Track ‘Alarming’ Melt in Antarctic Ice Shelves

South African Navy to commission second MMIPV multi-mission inshore patrol vessel SAS King Shaka Zulu

ClassNK: 80 million gt of zero-emission ships needed annually by 2040 to meet IMO targets while Urgent action needed to reach 5% zero-emission fuel target by 2030, says new report

Inactive Containership Fleet Surpasses 1 Million TEU, Alphaliner Reports



Sonar Survey Reveals the Lost WWII Ships of Dunkirk (Editor – includes an 8:58 min video)

The LAST Tribal-Class Destroyer HMCS Haida (Editor – repeating a 21:13 min video)

Sub Hunters In Africa: Air Force, Part 50 (Editor – ASW beyond the North Atlantic…amazing stories)



21 October 1910  HMCS Niobe arrives in Halifax, the first Canadian warship to arrive at her base in Canada.  Now officially celebrated by the RCN as Niobe Day.

21 October 1927 – the destroyers HMCS Patriot pays off into reserve.  The Government of Canada decides to build two new destroyers to replace Patriot and Patrician, and asks the Admiralty for interim replacements.  The destroyers HMCS Champlain (ex-HMS Torbay) and HMCS Vancouver (ex-HMS Toreador) are named and lent to the RCN.   There is already an HMS Vancouver in the RN but the Admiralty agrees to change its name to HMS Vimy.  These are the first two ships of the RCN, other than auxiliaries, which receive names associated with and suggested by Canada.

21 October 1942  HMCS Royal Roads becomes the Royal Canadian Naval College and commences training cadets.

21 October 1943 HMCS Chedabucto sank after night collision with the cable vessel Lord Kelvin, 30 miles from Rimouski, Quebec.  She is later beached and becomes a total loss. One officer was lost.

21 October 1944  HMCS Uganda (later Quebec) is commissioned, becoming Canada’s first cruiser since Aurora was paid off in 1922.

22 October 1914  HMCS Niobe makes her first operational patrol off the Strait of Belle Isle.

22 October 1940   Canadian destroyer HMCS Margaree is lost in collision with merchantman SS Port Fairy as she escorts Liverpool-out convoy OL8 450 miles to the west of Ireland.  Cut in half the forward half of the ship sank immediately, the after half remaining afloat eventually sank by gunfire from the Port Fairy.  She sank with 142 casualties, but 31 crew survive.  Compounding the tragedy, 86 of those lost are survivors of the Fraser disaster.  Margaree is the second destroyer lost due to collision within four months.

23 October 1939  HMCS Saguenay (Destroyer) intercepted the German tanker Emmy Friederich which scuttled herself.

23 October 1969  A major explosion occurred aboard HMCS Kootenay.  The blast and intense engine room fire would become known as one of the worst peacetime accidents in the history of the RCN, with nine of her crew killed.  Three years later, six crew members received medals honouring their bravery during the incident.  Chief Petty Officer V.O. Partanan and Petty Officer 2nd Class Lewis John Stringer were both posthumously awarded the Cross of Valour.  They were the first recipients of the newly initiated Canadian Cross of Valour which is our highest decoration for bravery in non-combat circumstances.  The Star of Courage was awarded to Sun-Lieutenant Clark Reiffenstein (posthumously) and Petty Officer Clement Bussiere.  The Medal of Bravery was awarded to Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class Robert George and Petty Officer 1st Class Gerald Gillingham.  In 2020 the Nova Scotia Premier declares 23 October HMCS Kootenay Day.

24 October 1949  A programme for the construction in Canadian shipyards of anti-submarine destroyer escorts for the RCN was announced by the Minister of national Defence in Parliament.

25 October 1944 HMCS Skeena was wrecked in a storm, and grounded near Reykjavik, Iceland. Fifteen lives were lost.

26 October 1952  HMCS Crusader destroys a North Korean supply train near Songjin: RCN gunners account for the destruction of eight enemy trains during the conflict.

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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