Trident Warrior 2005 (TW05) provided an exciting opportunity to talk with members of the AUSCANNZUKUS (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom and United States) alliance, including the Commanding Officer of HMCS Montreal, Cmdr. Paul Dempsey and his staff during TW05 execution. Cmdr. Dempsey and his crew gave guests and TW05 stakeholders a tour of the Montreal and explained the significance of their participation in TW05 and the technologies they were testing for coalition interoperability.
Cmdr. Dempsey: Canada is here to gain insight and a better appreciation into some of the products and technologies that the U.S. Navy is developing with the aim of improving coalition interoperability. Our goal is to ensure that Canada remains an effective coalition partner in whatever the operation may be.
At the operator level, TW provides HMCS Montreal the opportunity to provide feedback on the potential utility of the products under evaluation. When we see things that are working well, we can let our American friends know, but conversely, when things are not working as anticipated we can also give that feedback. In sum, Trident Warrior provides for a good exchange of information and excellent insight as to where the U.S. Navy is leaning in the development of new technologies.
CHIPS: Is this the first year that Canada has participated in TW?
Cmdr. Dempsey: TW05 is the first time that any allied nation participated. In TW04, AUSCANNZUKUS had observer status and was invited to fully participate in TW05. HMCS Montreal was a major portion of Canada's contribution to its AUSCANNZUKUS obligations. The invitation to AUSCANNZUKUS has been extended again and was accepted for TW06.
CHIPS: How is this training going to benefit your sailors?
Cmdr. Dempsey: Any time you get to sea the training is beneficial; it is 'hands-on'; it is operators using their skills. The thing that is really important is that our operators are developing their appreciation and understanding of the potential advantages that this technology brings to coalition operations. Maritime operations are often constrained due to limited bandwidth available for exchange of tactical information at sea. Once fully developed, the technologies on trial during TW will enable ships to take better advantages of the bandwidth available and thus, pass more information more quickly. And, by extension, we will be faster and more effective in delivering capabilities in support of the mission.
Ultimately, that is what this is about, bringing rapid effect for the desired end-state through superior technology. New and developing products, such as those being evaluated during TW, will better position the Canadian Navy to bring our capabilities to bear when required.
CHIPS: Will the new technologies be affordable to other navies?
Cmdr. Dempsey: I think it is clear that not all navies are created equally. There are large and small navies. There are resource constraints that some navies have to work under more so than other navies. And, there are different mentalities and different cultures. I think the U.S. Navy is one of the leading navies when it comes to exploring the potential of technology because of its available resources and the priority that leadership places on developing technical advantage.
For a smaller navy like Canada, the opportunity to be involved at this stage of product development enables us to leverage limited resources to optimum advantage. As well, I believe that similarly sized navies can realize value through Canada's participation in TW. As the potential of these technologies is realized, the Canadian Navy can act as a gateway or conduit to advance these technologies to other coalition partners facing similar challenges. The message that we send to other allied navies is a strong one. As a third tiered navy we understand the restraints and constraints that many medium size powers operate under. If we can take this technology and realize operational benefits, we can share our experiences and insight and thus, enhance coalition interoperability and mission effectiveness.
CHIPS: What are some of your observations about TW05?
Cmdr. Dempsey: I was particularly impressed with SNR (Subnet Relay). SNR has the proven potential of facilitating the rapid exchange of vast amounts of information between ships of varying capabilities. It was both a pleasure and honor for HMCS Montreal to participate in TW, and I look forward to continued cooperation between the Canadian and American navies.