HMCS Ville de Québec exercises with Tunisian Navy during Op REASSURANCE
By PO2 Corey MacNeil,
HMCS Ville de Québec Naval Communicator
On August 20, 2018, HMCS Ville de Québec departed Tunis, Tunisia. With the Northern African coastline in the background, it conducted a passing exercise (PASSEX) with FBB La Galite and PB Joumhouria of the Tunisian Navy. The goal of the exercise was to improve interoperability between Canadian and Tunisian Naval Forces and to foster relations between both nations.
The PASSEX started off with a Surface Exercise (SURFEX) between all three units. HMCS Ville de Québec sent its Special Operations Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat to simulate small boat approaches and attacks. All three units demonstrated their abilities and procedures for defending themselves against such threats. They used both verbal and visual warnings.
Once that exercise was finished, members of the Naval Tactical Operations Group (NTOG) left Ville de Québec in the small boat and were joined by members of the FBB La Galite boarding team. Together, they conducted a simulated boarding exercise onboard PB Joumhouria. This exercise proved to be of great value to both countries as it exposed both boarding teams to various operating procedures.
Once all members of each boarding team returned to their units, all three ships conducted Divisional Tactics; these are also known as Officer of the Watch Manoeuvres. This was an excellent opportunity for all three units to practice voice procedures and ship handling. Once the manoeuvres got into full swing, all three units were able to execute the manoeuvres at four-minute intervals.
The passing exercise finished with Ville de Québec conducting a sailpast by the other two units, waving goodbye to the Tunisian Naval vessels while wishing them fair winds and following seas.
Overall, the exercises conducted were a great example of the interoperability and professionalism between both nations. The bridge team of Ville de Québec gained a true mark of knowledge and appreciation while working with a foreign navy.