naval affairs

NAC News – Edition 558

NAC News – Edition 558

Your weekly national and international naval news for the week of March 29th, 2024

Edition: 558    EASTER EDITION   Quote: “We are two years into a war in Europe,” he said. “Putin’s plan for victory is to outlast the west.  So this is truly a contest of wills.  Russia is mobilizing and re-arming at a much faster rate than expected.  Their economy, despite sanctions, continues to grow.  Ukraine, despite its incredible will to fight, is dependent on Western support.  And I am worried that that support is faltering.  We have not had the sense of urgency necessary to mobilize our defense industrial base, including here in Canada, which would be a clear sign that we’re in it for the long haul, however long it takes, and if we don’t support the democratic rights and national sovereignty of Ukrainians, if Putin is allowed to win, then the very rules and principles that keep us all safe are in grave danger.”  General Wayne Eyre, Chief of Defence Staff to the CDAI Ottawa Conference, 7/8 March 2024.

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)


1 May 2024 18:00 – 23:00 Battle of Atlantic Gala – The Naval Association of Canada (NAC) and the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) will once again host the Battle of the Atlantic (BOA) Gala Dinner this year.  This year we also acknowledge the 100th Anniversary of the RCAF.  The event will take place at the Canadian War Museum, 1 Vimy Place, Ottawa. For full details.

1-3 May 2024 NIBC’s Maritime Arctic 2024 conference (Editor – agenda and speakers at this link), Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour, Victoria, BC.  This international two-and-a-half-day conference will consist of informative presentations, interactive Q&A sessions, and panel discussions, bringing together key Canadian and international stakeholders in the maritime industry, environmental organizations, governmental transport authorities, coast guards, consultants, and technology providers.  Social and professional networking opportunities will be embedded in the programme.  NAC members are eligible for the “Affiliate” reduced rate.  NAC-VI is helping sponsor this event.

03-05 May 2024 Canadian Naval Air Remembers (CANAR).  Reunion to commemorate Canadian Naval Aviation.  From 1914 until today.  A memorial to involve all ranks, all services, civilians, and immediate family involved in shipborne/shore aviation roles.  For details of events, memorial, accommodations and administration check the following links: Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum and Shearwater Aviation Museum

14-16 May Mari-Tech 2024 St. John’s Convention Centre, St. John’s NFLD.  Mari-Tech was created by the Canadian Institute of Marine Engineering (CIMarE) in 1976 and is the premier event for the marine engineering community in Canada. The conference has earned a respected position as a neutral, non-political event devoted to engaging the private sector, government, and academia.  This year’s theme is “navigating sustainable marine transportation”.



War a real threat and Europe not ready, warns Poland’s Tusk

Russia shuts down UN watchdog tracking North Korea sanctions

After Long Battle, Davie Secures National Shipbuilding Strategy Order

North Van’s Seaspan Shipyards gets $500M for new Canadian Coast Guard vessels with Seaspan Shipyards Progresses to Next Phase of Designing and Building Multi-Purpose Vessels for the Canadian Coast Guard



Canadian military expects to secure contract for B.C. drone base by end of 2024

RCN’s Our Navy Today Volume 7, Issue 2

Naval gazing

Military culture reform is key to fix recruitment ‘death spiral’: minister (Editor – embedded 12:28 min video)

DM/CDS Message: Data transfer issue affecting CAF members’ access to internal federal public service jobs

Supplier Spotlight: Bringing Canadians Home with Duke Marine

Maritime body approves new environmental protections for shipping in Canadian Arctic

Veterans pan move to end military investigation, prosecution of sexual misconduct (Editor – includes a 13:23 min interview with Bill Blair, MND)

The deadly dive to the Titanic

St. Lawrence Seaway Kicks Off 66th Navigation Season

Canada tries to combat aging marine shipping workforce with online ‘ocean school’

Coast Guard, Ahousaht remove dangerous boats

Federal Retirees representatives meet with Minister O’Regan

VAC: Salute March 2024

NAC Children’s books are still available for sale (Editor – My new marketing expert gave me an improved sales pitch!  “NAC has children’s books for sale.  These books are a great way for children to learn about the navy and what it does.  The illustrations are wonderful, and the stories are fun.  And don’t forget to get a copy of the NAC graphic novel (“Hunter and Hunted: On Board a Canadian Corvette in the Battle of the Atlantic”) and learn all about what the RCN was doing in WWII.”)

Lookout: Volume 69, Issue 12, 25 March 2024

Change in items to NAC Niobe papers On Maritime Threats to Canada (Editor – Please share with anyone you think may benefit from the knowledge, after all, that’s what our naval affairs programme is all about – enlightening Canadians)



USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker: March 25, 2024

Baltimore bridge collapses after ship strikes it, rescuers search for several people (Editor – astonishing 56 sec video included) and a quick look explanation in a 6:39 min video Ship Lost Power Before Hitting Key Bridge in Baltimore) and a bit more MV Dali Hitting Key Bridge in Baltimore – Track and Video Analysis 7:55 min video) and more details Baltimore bridge collapse was a failure, engineers say — but likely not with the bridge with now the Navy Salvage Team Leading Drive to Open Fort McHenry Channel After Key Bridge Collapse

Baltimore Coal Exports Are Likely Blocked For Weeks and Baltimore Bridge Fallout to Extend Coast-to-Coast in Cargo Shift (Editor – not as bad as the Suez Canal blockage was, but still a substantial disruption) yet another wrinkle Multiple Vessels Trapped in Baltimore, Including Sealift Ships

Brazilian President Lula launches Scorpene-class submarine Tonelero with Macron

Four Firms Strengthen Bids for US Navy’s Large Unmanned Vessel Program

GAO Report on Fatigue in U.S. Military

CNO Franchetti Focused on Growing Shipbuilding, Weapons Industrial Base

Who is America’s top commercial partner? (Hint: It’s not China.) (Editor – not a maritime article but highlighting strategic points)

Watch: Cocaine haul found after high-speed boat chase off Colombia



Cash splash to speed up AUKUS submarines delivery

India Brings Back 35 Somali Pirates As Part Of Operations Near Red Sea (Editor – wonder what the penalty for piracy is in India)

Did India Just Play its BIGGEST EVER Masterstroke? (Editor – instructive 6:25 min video) and Why China FEARS this TINY Indian Outpost? (Editor – 5:28 min video)

War risks to Australian maritime trade (Editor – to expand on this globally, trade as we know it would virtually stop, the implications are staggering)

It looks like Pakistan bought a Chinese spy ship. What does it do?

China Vows To Safeguard Its Territorial Integrity After South China Sea Incident

New Zealand Navy Ship Deploys to Support Solomon Islands Election Amid Growing Concerns Over China




Ukraine war: Two Russian landing ships hit off Crimea, officials say

Ukraine reportedly hits Russia Project 18280 spy ship Yuriy Ivanov

First RBU-6000 Anti-Submarine Rocket Launcher Destroyed (Mounted on a Truck) (Editor – couldn’t resist including this quirky 3:09 min video)

Baltic Foreign Ministers Urge More U.S. to Support Ukraine

How Many Russian Soldiers Have Really Died in Ukraine (Editor – strategic implications in a 20:44 min video)

India Halts Russia Oil Supplies From Sanctioned Tanker Giant but Asia Crude Imports Surge as China, India Snap Up Russian Oil

Port Attacks Slow Ukraine Grain Exports


A Transition to War for the Arsenals of Democracies

UK Commits Over £550 Million to Nuclear Submarines and Energy Projects

UK: Overview of Royal Navy’s future Dreadnought class submarines

Naval Group tests lithium batteries for future Dutch Orka class submarines

SEA EW decoy countermeasure launchers for UK Royal Navy



Red Sea:

On board HMS Diamond as it faces Houthi attacks (Editor – and a 3:23 BBC video On board Royal Navy ship as it faces Houthi attacks | BBC News)

Maersk Says Red Sea Still Too Risky to Justify Return

Chinese Tanker Hit with Houthi Missile in the Red Sea

Vessel Struck By Projectile, Catches Fire Off Yemen’s Coast


Houthis Threaten Saudi Arabia Over U.S. Military Actions



Japan’s Sumidagawa shipyard launches 2nd patrol boat for Djibouti Coast Guard

45th Chinese naval escort taskforce arrives in Tanzania for goodwill visit



How Do Fighter Jets Stay on Aircraft Carriers? (Editor – 45 sec video)

How To Position A Ship Onto The Blocks In a Drydock (Editor – don’t do battleships often these days 6:04 min video)



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, was paid off.

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

1 April 1733  Canada’s First lighthouse lit for the first time, using coal from nearby Morien and Spanish River; the round 200 metre tower, made with cement from limestone burned in local kilns, is the first fireproof concrete structure in North America at Louisbourg, Nova Scotia, and it is the only other on the entire eastern coast of North America is in Boston.

1 April 1873  Wreck of luxury liner SS Atlantic, sailing from Liverpool to New York; the ship was turning into Halifax Harbour to get coal, but struck a reef in the foggy night near Mars Rock, Meagher’s Island, near Terrance Bay – 546 people drown in heavy seas, while local fishermen manage to save 300. Prospect, Nova Scotia

1 April 1941  RCN armed merchant cruiser Prince Henry intercepts two German ships off Peru; ships scuttled.

1 April 1942  The Canadian registered SS Robert W. Pomeroy (Upper Lakes & St. Lawrence Transportation Co, Toronto), was a coal-fired Great Lakes freighter.  With a cargo of lumber, her first (and only) wartime crossing was in convoy SC-3 (47 ships) which departed Sydney NS on 2 September 1940 bound for Liverpool.  Four of the ships were sunk by U-boats.  On arrival in the UK, the Pomeroy was “considered not suitable for Deep Sea Trading” and was “allocated” to be a local UK collier.  During one of her voyages, she joined the unescorted coastal convoy FN-67 which was northbound for the Blyth and Tyne coal mining ports but she sank about 12 nautical miles off the coast of Norfolk England.  She was “submerged, mast visible and [anti-aircraft barrage] balloon still flying”, but the records indicate some uncertainty regarding the cause.  She might have hit a mine or broken her back in heavy seas.  One casualty amongst the crew.

1 April 1959  New St. Lawrence Seaway opens for business; will be officially dedicated June 26 by the Queen and US President Dwight Eisenhower.

2 April 1887  US seizes Canadian sealing ships in North Pacific: other seizures on the 9, 12, and 17th. Juneau, Alaska

3 April 3, 1935  Lt(N) J. P. Connolly appointed Commanding Officer, charged to raise a RCNVR unit in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

3 April 1996  Members of the Canadian Forces ordered to spend the entire day searching for documents that may aid the Somalia inquiry. Ottawa, Ontario

3 April 2007  Royal Assent given to the Veterans’ Bill of Rights; PM Harper says Ottawa will establish an ombudsman for veterans, so the government can respond quickly and fairly to any concerns of veterans. Ottawa

3 April 2010  PO2 Blake, a member of Fleet Diving Unit (Atlantic), died after an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated about 25 kilometres southwest of Kandahar City in Panjwai district.

4 April 1949  Canada signs the Washington Treaty with Belgium, the United Kingdom, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and the U.S.; and becomes a founding member of North Atlantic Treaty Organization; NATO members pledge to defend each other in event of Soviet attack.  NATO is Canada’s first peacetime military alliance.  Washington, DC

5 April 1958  Ripple Rock blown up with 1.2 tons of Nitramex, one of the world’s largest non-nuclear explosions to date, removed a shipping hazard just below the surface of Seymour Narrows near Campbell River that had sunk or damaged 119 vessels and caused the death of over 100 people.  Captain George Vancouver called the narrows “one of the vilest stretches of water in the world.” Campbell River, BC

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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