dictable and more regular. We’re working with the U.S.
Navy, our friends in Australia and Japan, and a few other
countries, looking at how we can have a more regular
presence in the area. That’s an area of vital strategic
interest to Canada, as it is to the rest of the world.
We have tended, in our history, to have a more
Atlantic bias to our activities, and now that we are get-
ting some flexibility back into the capacity of the fleet,
we’re looking to a late 2016/2017 time frame to have
increased activity, primarily through the U.S. Navy for
obvious reasons, in the area of the Indo-Asia-Pacific.
That would likely be through the temporary assignment of a frigate, or even potentially a submarine, at
the right moment in time to U.S. Seventh Fleet to help
participate in the activities of that important region.
You raise the issue of Canada’s submarines.
Do you see those playing more of a role in
NORMAN: We certainly would see them as playing a
key role in global maritime operations. That’s where I
make a subtle distinction between engagement and the
broader domain of operations and domain awareness
and all the other more operational activities. A subma-
rine is not necessarily an effective engagement tool. It’s
a very effective tool for everything from surveillance to
sea control, but I would see that more on the operation-
al end of things. We want to continue to exercise with
the partners in the region, and the submarines can play
a vital role in that capability as well.
One of the key tenets of global engagement is visible
presence. Well, the submarine, by its very nature, is an
invisible presence. But it is a tool for increased operational capability, both in terms of generating the capability or actually having the capability forward deployed.
So we do see the possibility of the submarines playing a
role in that. Whether it’s in a broader continental context or in a forward-deployed context in the Pacific, we
have to wait and see.
Part of the challenge is that that particular [Victoria]
class of submarine is not necessarily optimized for
long-range, global deployment. It’s great when you
have it in an operating area and you can leave it in an
operating area for an extended period of time, as it was
designed to do. But it’s not necessarily an ideal platform for transiting long distances because you spend
more time getting where you need to be than you
spend actually being where you need to be.
The RCN has also had a presence in the Persian
Gulf on a regular basis, or a semi-regular basis.
NORMAN: That’s another key area for both historic
and geostrategic reasons. We’ve been there on and off
since Gulf War I. We’ve had a near-sustained presence
Norman speaks with Cpl. Anthony Phillips during a 50-man Guard of Honour held at Duntze Head, British Columbia, in
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