WWW.SEAPOWERMAGAZINE.ORG SEAPOWER / MAY 2016
new partners, but there’s other partnerships growing in
the expanded NATO context as well.
The RCN has a regular connection with the
U.S. Navy, as well as taking part in a number
of key operations or exercises that highlight
NORMAN: I go back to the fact that, of all of the incredibly important relationships, and they are all important
for a variety of different reasons, the U.S. relationship
is key. It’s key obviously because of our geography, it’s
key because of our history and it’s key fundamentally
because of the pre-eminence of the United States Navy
as the dominant seagoing force for good.
So we have embedded staffs in a number of the fleets
in the U.S. Navy: in Third Fleet in San Diego, in Fleet
Forces in Norfolk, in the PAC [Pacific] Fleet in Hawaii.
Of course, we would look to enhance and expand
farther into some of the more forward-deployed fleet
structures in the coming year or two.
As to ongoing and recurring activity, we exercise
together in terms of local or continental defense. We
do a lot of work together integrating our task group
exercises with their equivalent exercises off the East
and West Coasts of North America. And then we have,
in the past, integrated to the point of having Canadian
ships in U.S.-deployed battle groups or strike groups,
and we’re looking at getting back into that business
now that we have the fleet almost back to full capacity.
There are also the exercises, which include the
Trident Furies, which include the RIMPAC [Rim of the
Pacific] series, the premier exercise in the Pacific, as
well as a variety of other ones at the coastal level.
There was recently a fairly large drug seizure
that the RCN participated in, along with U.S.
forces, on Operation Caribbe off the coast of
NORMAN: Op Caribbe is a great example of that degree
of integration and partnership in a continental sense.
We’ve been at this now for several years. It’s a continuing success. As you mentioned, we’ve had another
significant seizure. And that’s an integrated operation
through the Joint Interagency Task Force based out of
Florida and as part of the SouthCom [U.S. Southern
Command] command structure, but it’s an integrated
task force specifically for counternarcotics.
What’s interesting there is it’s not only the U.S. Navy
but it involves the U.S. Coast Guard. In that context,
the RCN has a very good relationship with both those
partners. The relationship is expressed at sea where we
have law enforcement detachments from the U.S. Coast
Guard — basically, they are the legal entity for enforce-
ment — embedded in ships of the RCN, supported by
aircraft potentially from the U.S. Coast Guard and the
U.S. Navy. The RCAF [Royal Canadian Air Force] is
down there frequently as well. So that’s really a great
example of a team effort.
Do you see this global engagement with the
U.S. Navy expanding? There’s been a lot of
talk, for instance, about the Arctic waters.
NORMAN: As far as looking into what the RCN and
the Canadian Coast Guard are doing in cooperation in
terms of the high north and the Arctic, that’s all, from
my perspective, a good news story. It’s equally a good
news story in terms of those relationships between
the U.S. Navy, the RCN, the U.S. Coast Guard and the
Canadian Coast Guard.
As we look to the north, and as we look to increased
activity in the north, it’s absolutely vital that we do this
in partnership with our closest friend and neighbor.
They are operating routinely in those waters in a variety of different ways, as are we. The U.S. Coast Guard
and Canadian Coast Guard partnership is fantastic in
the north. The U.S. Navy-RCN partnership is fantastic
in all aspects all around the world.
We have yet to operate in any significant way
together in the north, and we see that as a growing area
of shared interest. When we talk to the U.S. Navy, that’s
a recurring area of shared interest, and, of course, we
want to do more ourselves. So as we build our capacities and our competencies, we’ll want to do that with
our partners going forward.
The Arctic is simply a different operating environment than some of us have traditionally been in.
Fundamentally, those relationships, those partnerships, that interoperability is the same and is going to
be the same. It’s just in a more demanding environment
that requires slightly different capabilities and slightly
I see that all kind of moving together, merging, and
the kinds of things that we do routinely off of San
Diego or Norfolk or off of Halifax or Victoria, we could
see ourselves doing off of Cambridge Bay [Nunavut,
Canada] or off of Prudhoe Bay [Alaska], depending on
the nature of what needs to be done.
Do you see this unfolding over the next several
NORMAN: I don’t see it happening immediately. We have
not yet got to a point in our discussions where we’ve
mapped out specific, detailed timelines for certain things.
But we have a shared interest and we have a shared
commitment to continue to work together and look at
opportunities to work together.
The Arctic is a new, albeit extremely challenging,
operating area for us to do exactly the kinds of things