Members of the Combat Systems Engineering (CSE) Department on board HMCS St. John’s examine the 57 mm main gun during a weapons shoot during Ex JOINT WARRIOR as part of Op REASSURANCE on April 25, 2018.

HMCS St. John’s participates in the largest military exercise in Europe

By Capt Christopher Daniel, PAO CJOC,
and SLt Derek Frank, UPAR HMCS St. John’s

HMCS St. John’s, along with other members of Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1), participated in Ex JOINT WARRIOR 18 off the Northwest Coast of Scotland from April 23 to May 3, 2018.

Ex JOINT WARRIOR is the largest military exercise in Europe. It is led by the United Kingdom and involves warships, air assets, and ground forces from all across the NATO alliance.

St. John’s, as part of SNMG1, joined more than 40 other warships from Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Turkey, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

“JOINT WARRIOR is an important exercise in both scale and quality of training,” explained Cdr Gord Noseworthy, the Commanding Officer. “HMCS St. John’s, with our substantial anti-submarine warfare capabilities, made significant contributions in our task group, patrolling the Sea of the Hebrides and the Minches along the Scottish coast. Our officers and sailors demonstrated their exceptional skill and professionalism throughout the exercise, and were ready and able to take the lead when the situation demanded.”

Ex JOINT WARRIOR runs through a range of scenarios, including crisis and conflict situations that could be realistically encountered in operations: disputed territory, terrorist activity, piracy, and more.  

St. John’s’ participation in this exercise demonstrates Canada’s solidarity with its allies in protecting the seaways and in promoting global peace and security.

“It was incredible to see the change in integration and interoperability that occurred throughout the exercise,” said LS Simon Malevich, a Naval Combat Information Operator. “By the end, the interoperability was almost seamless. The experiences and connections I made during JOINT WARRIOR 18-1 are unforgettable. I have left the exercise feeling more competent as an operator, and having thoroughly enjoyed myself.”

“As a reservist, I will be able to take lessons learned during Exercise JOINT WARRIOR back to the reserve community, and my daily life as an academic in Toronto,” he continued.

Ex JOINT WARRIOR is linked directly with the NATO Military Training Exercise Programme and is designed, planned, and delivered by the UK Joint Tactical Exercise Planning Staff based at Northwood in London.

St. John’s officially joined SNMG1 on January 18, 2018 as part of Op REASSURANCE, Canada’s support to NATO assurance and deterrence measures in Central and Eastern Europe.