ST. JOHN'S, Newfoundland (NNS) -- NATO Allies participating in Cutlass Fury 2019 pulled in to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Sept. 19 and St. John’s, Newfoundland, Sept. 20 after the conclusion of the Royal Canadian Navy-led multi-national exercise Sept. 18.
Approximately 2,800 sailors and airmen from eight nations participated in exercise Cutlass Fury 2019, Canada’s largest naval exercise in decades. For eleven days, the Alliance trained in anti-air warfare, defense against attacks from enemy maritime forces, air-to-air combat and anti-submarine warfare.
“Cutlass Fury was a superbly planned and professionally executed event that benefited the readiness of all units and improved our ability to quickly integrate with one another,” said Rear Adm. Edward Cashman, commander, Standing NATO Maritime Group One. “The inherent flexibility and agility of maritime forces allows NATO forces to operate wherever they are needed and to work effectively with air and maritime forces under national control.”
“Now that the exercise is over, Allied sailors will have time to enjoy the sights, history and people of Halifax and St. John’s,” he continued. “No other cities in North America better illustrates the historic importance of the North Atlantic as a bridge that connects the Allies.”
While most Allied sailors are looking forward to the visit back to Canada following exercise Cutlass Fury 2019, the visit will give Royal Canadian Navy Lt. Cmdr. Allan Wilson, the staff above-water warfare officer for SNMG1, another chance to show the citizens of Halifax and St. John’s what he has been doing while working with SNMG1.
“I enjoy explaining to people in Canada what it is that I do,” said Wilson. “NATO Allies visiting Halifax and St. John’s is a great way to provide a tangible example of how my salary, paid for by taxpayers, goes to helping the government execute their foreign policy. It is a great demonstration that Canada is a part of NATO and NATO is a part of the global Alliance, that although is big, operates throughout the Atlantic Ocean in Europe and North America.”
Cutlass Fury is designed to be a biennial, medium-scale exercise off the coast of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, with the purpose of unifying Canada’s Atlantic Fleet, Allied navies, and other joint elements in tactical-level warfare.
SNMG1 is one of four standing maritime task groups composed of ships from various Allied countries. These task groups form the core maritime capabilities of NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF). They provide a continuous maritime capability to execute NATO missions across the spectrum of operations, demonstrate solidarity, and strengthen diplomatic and professional links among Allied naval forces.