Pacific Ocean (NNS) – Guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70) completed the two-week exercise Trident Fury, May 13.
The objective of Trident Fury is to conduct bilateral mine countermeasure training with the Canadian Navy. The exercise included the triad of mine countermeasures (MCM) – air, surface and subsurface.
“Exercise Trident Fury was a superb learning and training opportunity for Lake Erie – a huge win for us,” said Lake Erie Executive Officer, Capt. David Hughes. “From the outset, we were engaged in an aggressive schedule of multi-discipline events, many of which we have had limited opportunities to experience.”
The bilateral training exercise took place in the waters west of Vancouver Island, British Columbia and was developed by Canada’s Pacific Joint Task Force Headquarters for the purpose of building a strong working relationship between the maritime and aviation forces of the United States and Canada.
During the exercise, Lake Erie Sailors participated in many bilateral evolutions to include anti-submarine warfare, war-at-sea exercises, daily multi-ship maneuvering and gunnery exercises on a flying target and multiple Canadian Hammerhead unmanned drone target boats.
“The gun mounts performed flawlessly,” said Weapons Department Divisional Leading Chief Petty Officer, Master Chief Gunner’s Mate (SW) William Lipsett. “We shot and we proved our weaponry and technology,” Lipsett said. “This is one of the best ships in the Pacific Fleet, and I have some of the best weaponeers in this Pacific Fleet.”
There were also multiple personnel transfers by small boat and helicopter, allowing sailors from U.S. and Canadian ships to participate in crew swaps.
“It’s been absolutely fantastic,” said Master Seaman Greg Hamilton from the Canadian Iroquois-class destroyer HMCS Algonquin (DDG 283). “We’ve been given the whole run of the ship. The commanding officer greeted us the moment we came on board, and everybody’s been fantastic polite and friendly.”
Hughes, said the training exercise was a complete success and it was an excellent learning experience for everyone.
“I think we performed very well, and I know we learned quite a bit. We learned that we can’t take our readiness for granted; we learned how hard it can be to deliver on the idea of seamless interoperability,” said Hughes. “While we generally conduct business the same as our Canadian hosts, the seemingly minor differences in fundamental disciplines such as communications procedures and planning processes took effort and teamwork to fight through.”
Lake Erie provides deterrence, promotes peace and security, preserves freedom of the sea and assists with humanitarian/disaster response within 3rd Fleet’s 50-million square mile area of responsibility in the Eastern Pacific, as well as supporting the Navy’s Maritime Strategy when forward deployed.