naval affairs

NAC News – Edition 544

NAC News – Edition 544

Your weekly national and international naval news for the week of  December 22nd, 2023



Quote: Editor – sorry, not a very jolly quote for Christmas – “What is at stake is a possible blowback.  Because in the Arab and Muslim world, the U.S. is seen to be the principal enabler, if not part of the war [in Gaza].  It is probably impacting the opinion of an entire generation that is likely to last.” 4 December 2023, Shibley Telhami, NPR

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)


UPDATED 27 February 2024 7:30 – 18:00 Ottawa time, ShipTech Forum 2024.  This year’s theme is “Pushing Fleets Beyond Designed Life”.  NAC is an official supporter of the organizer VANGUARD, Canada’s leading trade media that serves the Canadian defence and security industries.  Vanguard expects 300+ attendees and 12 exhibitors.  As such there is a $50 discount for NAC members who wish to purchase a ticket and the promo code is STF24_NAC.  Last week for the Early Bird registration!  All CAF, CCG, & government personnel can register for FREE.  Not Able to Attend in Person: all speaker sessions will be live streamed, to allow for virtual attendance.

Editor – NAC is a member of the Conference of Defence Association, and their Institute (CDAI).  Established in 1932, CDAI is an umbrella organization for 36 member associations who represent over 400,000 active and retired members of the CAF.  CDAI has requested to know if any NAC members would like to get involved with either their youth mentorship programme, or to be a Subject Matter Expert (SME) and speak to the media on naval matters.  NAC sees this as a first-rate opportunity to bringing naval affairs to the forefront.  If you are interested in the youth mentorship programme please contact the NAC ED Kevin Goheen, and for the potential maritime SMEs contact either our President Bruce Belliveau or our Naval Affairs Director Tim Addison.



Jody Thomas, PM’s national security adviser, set to retire in the new year

Military is being called on too often to deal with domestic emergencies, commander warns

Personnel shortage in the RCN (Editor – VAdm Angus Topshee discusses the shortages in the RCN during a 7:42 min CTV interview.)

U.S. State Department extends continental shelf claims, including in Arctic (Editor – how does this not get mentioned by the Canadian Press?)



2023 Admiral’s Medal Recipient: Captain David (Duke) Snider, FNI, FRGS (Editor – BZ Duke!)

‘It’s been a long one’: A warm welcome for sailors returning from four-month mission and details Three Ships and 600 Sailors Return Home from Five-Month Deployment

Our Naval Neighbor to the North: A Conversation with the 38th Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy (Editor – wonderful US Centre for Maritime Strategy interview with VAdm Topshee in a 34:25 mi video)

Canadian military buying armed drones for $2.49B

‘Robbing Peter to pay Paul’: Canadian navy warship sails home on borrowed transponder

Editor – Two weeks ago the edition of NAC News contained a link to the NAC BN Note #35 Addressing sexual misconduct in the CAF.  It was subsequently pointed out that although factually accurate the BN did not fully explain the outcome of the situation regarding Admiral Art McDonald.  BN #35, originally written in early 2021, has been re-written and has been reposted on the NAC Website.  It now includes the facts that Admiral McDonald was never charged with any offence, but subsequently did not return to his post as CDS.)

Presentation from the Marine Procurement Outlook 2023 now available (Editor – useful slide deck can be downloaded at the link)

Bombardier won’t contest Ottawa’s sole source deal on new Boeing military planes

Commodore Laraine Orthlieb: Breaking Barriers and Inspiring Change

Canadian military decides against court martial for officer who called for uprising

$8.4 billion in infrastructure investments committed to Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Seaway shipping

SAAM Towage’s electric tugs about to head for Canada

Roadmap To Net-Zero Emissions North American Waterborne Transportation

Government of Canada announces free daily admission to Parks Canada administered places for members and Veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces and their immediate family members

Read how the Legion helped a Veteran access benefits through Veterans Affairs Canada  (Editor – you don’t have to be a RCL member to talk to the Service Officers who are spread across the country – listing included.)

BC Maritime Industries Infrastructure Modernization and Expansion Grant Program

NAC Naval Affairs Programme Briefing Note #37  Alliances, Coalitions, and the RCN (Editor – Particularly germane given the new Red Sea efforts under CMF’s CTF 153 sub-set called Operation Prosperity Guardian.  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: Dec. 18, 2023

USS Harry S. Truman leaves Norfolk Naval Shipyard, rejoins the fleet and Why The Aircraft Carrier is So Important (Editor – basic but full of great pics in a 3:55 min video)

Report to Congress on U.S. Navy Destroyer Programs

Boeing delivers first Orca extra-large UUV to US Navy

Navy’s Last Super Hornet Contract Stalled Due to Rising Air Frame Costs

Navy certifying virtualized Aegis Combat System on its first destroyer

British ship on the hunt for drug smugglers

Austal USA Wins U.S. Navy Contract For Expeditionary Medical Ship

Firing HIMARS from a Ship (Editor – something different in a 30 Sec video)

Senate Clears Promotion Backlog, Confirms Nominees for VCNO, Naval Reactors

Chilean Navy Deploys Submarine to Monitor Fishing Activity

Venezuela: Americans freed in swap deal – and fraudster Fat Leonard returned



Chinese Maritime Militia Swarms Second Thomas Shoal as Manila Mulls Contingency Plans and Philippines Budgets for a Permanent Base at Second Thomas Shoal

Chinese navy in Yellow Sea drills after joint air patrol with Russia

Philippines To Grant Japan Access to Military Bases

Japan Locks in Funding for 2 New Aegis Destroyers

China Launches 4th Type 075 LHD For The PLAN

Inside the U.S. Strategy to Counter China’s Booming Network of Ports | WSJ U.S. vs. China (Editor – 7:50 min video)

AUKUS: what we pay, what we get and How the Virginia-class sub keeps developing and BAE’s Sub Workforce Problems May Foreshadow Difficulties for AUKUS

Naval Exercise Milan-2024 to be held at Visakhapatna; 50 Countries likely to participate

New study suggests climate change will make submarine warfare more complex

JFD Australia Demonstrates It’s World Leading Submarine Rescue System

Making Sense of China’s New Stealth Warship (Editor – 12:59 min video)

China Now Produces More Than Half of All New Tonnage

Malaysia bans Israel-flagged vessels from its ports (Editor – a new wrinkle)

China Begins Sea Trials for its First Ultra-Deep Drilling Ship




U.S. intelligence assesses Ukraine war has cost Russia 315,000 casualties – source

Russia delivers first kamikaze naval drone BBKN Dandelion for deployment in Ukraine

Ukraine’s Killer Underwater Weapon that is Hammering Russia (Editor – eclectic and a bit disjointed 11:07 min video)

Inside a Ukrainian soldier’s UK-supplied kit bag (Editor – a look at outfitting a Ukrainian soldier in a 3:16 min video)

Ukraine: The Human Price of War, Episode 8 (Editor – just when you thought it couldn’t get much worse…5:50 min video)


NATO Military Chiefs of Defence meeting 17 and 18 January 2024 (Editor – packed agenda)

EU Shipping And US Naval Leaders Are Estranged Despite NATO Budget Boost

Russia summons Finland ambassador over US border accord (Editor – not a maritime story but one with potential implications)

Navy Locates and Recovers Downed Black Hawk in the Mediterranean Sea

Appeals Court Upholds Prison Sentence for Lost Frigate’s Conning Officer

Kongsberg nets €305 million deal to deliver NSMs to Spain and UK Royal Navy Declares IOC with Naval Strike Missile

Turkish Navy adopts TAI Aksungur UAV as newest surveillance asset

Netherlands to Spend Up to $274 Million on Seabed Surveillance

Turkish Navy’s submarine TCG Preveze to launch Akya torpedo

Spain orders 16 Airbus C295 in Maritime Patrol and Surveillance configurations

Landing a Helicopter Safely at Sea

EU Tries to Shine More Light on Russia’s “Dark” Tanker Fleet



SECDEF Austin Extends USS Gerald R. Ford Deployment into 2024

Shipping Industry Braces for Long Haul Without Key Trade Route with Houthi Leaders Vow to Keep Up Attacks on Shipping then Houthis Threaten to Attack US Warships if Washington Targets Yemen

Nine Nations Join U.S. Maritime Protection Mission in Red Sea plus New Red Sea Security Coalition Has 10 Secret Members with Canada to participate in United States-led Operation Prosperity Guardian

Norwegian-Owned Tanker Hit as Red Sea Attacks on Shipping Continue to Grow

Houthi Attacks force Maersk, Mediterranean Shipping & Hapag-Lloyd Turn Their Ships from the Red Sea (Editor 31:59 min video)

Egypt Reports 55 Ship Reroutes Since November Amid Tensions and OOCL Stops Serving Israel Because of “Operational Issues” plus Over 120 Boxships Affected by Red Sea Disruption

HMS Diamond: British warship shoots down suspected attack drone in Red Sea

U.K., American Warships Shoot Down Houthi-Launched Drones in Red Sea with What are counter-Unmanned Aerial Systems capabilities of destroyer USS Carney?

Italy Sends A FREMM In The Red Sea To Protect International Trade

Greece Navy proudly joins Operation Prosperity Guardian to ensure maritime trade

India stations two destroyers off the coast of Aden for maritime security

Israel sends new, advanced Sa’ar 6 warship to Red Sea

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Seizes Illegal Narcotics in Gulf of Oman

Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems Hands Over Third MEKO Frigate to Egypt (Editor – next four being built domestically)



Global Trade Faces Turmoil as Houthi’s Disrupt Red Sea Shipping

More than 60 migrants feared drowned off Libya, IOM says

Hijacked Bulker Winds Up off Somalia’s Northern Coast

Mercy Ships: In Africa, we provide free medical care (Editor – I had dinner the other evening with a Canadian who is involved with the Mercy Ships and he pointed me towards this wonderful activity)



The Naval Battle of Coronel, 1914 ⚓ World War 1 at Sea (Editor – 20 min video)

Kolchak: Rise of the Admiral (Editor – a part of Russian history that I have little familiarity with, enjoy)

The Mariner’s Mirror: Great Maritime Innovations 2: Sea Charts (Editor – fascinating 31 min podcast)



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.

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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