Supporting the Silent Service

The CANSUBFOR Logistical Department helps ensure subs receive food, supplies and anything else they need at sea. SUBMITTED

Supporting the Silent Service

By the Canadian Submarine Force

Napolean famously said: “The amateurs discuss tactics: the professionals discuss logistics.”   While perhaps simplistic, the view that logistics are ignored only at one’s peril is widely accepted.

Small but mighty, submarines do not have the space for additional supplies. They rely on the Canadian Submarine Force (CANSUBFOR) Logistical Department and the Submarine Support Team to ensure they receive food, parts, mail and other necessities. 

Unlike surface ships, submarine logistical teams do not sail with the boat but move ahead as a Forward Logistical Support (FLS) team instead. Moreover, as the submarine communication windows are limited so that clear communications and detailed planning are required to support the submarines wherever they may be.

“We are like an FLS team and fly to support the submarines in foreign ports and liaise with these port authorities. That is not something you do on a frigate since the FLS team comes from another organization. That gives us the advantage of knowing the crew and making our work easier,” said Lt(N) Isabelle Bergeron, the Logistics officer for CANSUBFOR Detachment East.

The one-team approach allows for efficient support anywhere in the world.

“A diverse, capable and collaborative team on each coast allows our submarines to effectively operate on a global scale,” added Lt(N) Jason Bates, the Logistics officer for CANSUBFOR Detachment West.