Japanese defence force visits Canadian Forces base in Nanoose

NANAIMO – Japanese antisubmarine warfare crew watches how Canadian forces deal with underwater threats during visit to Area Whisky Gulf.

Naval aviators from Japan’s Maritime Self Defence Force paid a visit to Canadian Forces Maritime Experimental and Test Ranges Wednesday for a first-hand look at where and how Canadian and U.S. military forces train to seek and destroy potential underwater threats.

The skies and waters of the torpedo test range off Nanoose known as Military Exercise Area Whisky Gulf was a busy patch of the Georgia Straight as five aircraft operating from CFB Comox and at least as many surface vessels from CFMETR worked together to launch training torpedo attacks against a Mk-30 remotely controlled underwater target.

Japanese observers from VP-2, a P-3C Orion antisubmarine squadron, watched, were given a tour of the facilities and oriented with the Mk-30 target and Mk-46 training torpedo before they were taken to the Range Operations Control Centre on Winchelsea Island to watch a Canadian Armed Forces Aurora aircraft track and drop a MK-46 torpedo on the target. That exercise was followed up with a second torpedo “attack” by a Canadian Forces Sea King helicopter.

VP-2 Squadron’s P-3C Orion didn’t drop any training torpedoes, but its aircrew flew the range by following the Aurora’s flight pattern, but at a higher altitude, as its crew also watched the performance of the training torpedoes from the aircraft’s onboard monitoring system.

The P-3 Orion originated as the Lockheed L-188 Electra, a four engine turboprop commercial airliner dating from 1955. The P-3 Orion – the Royal Canadian Airforce’s variant is the CP-140 Aurora – was first developed into an antisubmarine warfare and surveillance aircraft in the 1960s and remains in service with Canadian, U.S. and other military forces around the world.

VP-2 Squadron is on a month-long tour of Canadian and U.S. military installations throughout the Pacific. At CFMETR they learned more about how the range operates. The visit was also intended to enhance the working relationship between Japanese and Canadian forces.

“They’re on a larger Pacific Rim visit,” said Capt. Jeff Manney, CFMETR’s project officer of critical infrastructure. “They’re going to Hawaii and (Naval Air Station) Whidbey Island and they’re looking at other Allied facilities. They fly the same aircraft we do and the Americans do right now. They do a very similar job and it’s basically a chance to see how your allies are working and to get a little familiar with your operations.”

Interviews with squadron members – who were also keen to see how spent torpedoes and targets were recovered – were unfortunately not possible since the only English-fluent members were aboard their aircraft. Several members on the ground had a working understanding of English, but were not comfortable enough speaking it to conduct interviews. An English to Japanese interpreter with the group was able to relay information from Manney and other CFMETR personnel hosting the visit to his squadron mates.

CFMTRE was created in 1965 and is jointly paid for and operated by Canada and the U.S., but U.K, Australian and Japanese naval forces have also conducted tests and training at the facility.

The area was chosen for its depth, about 400 metres, and flat seafloor, which allows for easy tracking and data collection through the use of hydrophone array on the seabed and presents few obstacles for training torpedoes and targets.

No live munitions are ever deployed on the range.

“It was up here in the Strait of Georgia that both sides had arguably the best conditions and waters, for the kind of testing and evaluation that was needed, that was present on the whole west coast of North America,” said Cmdr. Gerry Powell, CFMETR base commander.

Just Posted

Kimberly Bussiere and other laid-off employees of Casino Nanaimo have launched a class-action lawsuit against the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Laid-off Casino Nanaimo workers launch class-action lawsuit against corporation

Notice of civil claim filed on April 6 at Supreme Court of B.C. in Nanaimo

Beban Pool is expected to re-open Oct. 4 after a vote by councillors at a finance and audit committee meeting Wednesday, June 16. (News Bulletin file photo)
City of Nanaimo will re-open Beban Pool in October

User groups warn COVID-19 pool closures have left a gap in water safety education

Beef to the lady who went onto my property then proceeded to take my large plant from my home. I found out and asked for it returned. You said I was dramatic? You should be ashamed of yourself.
Beefs & Bouquets, June 16

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

The discovery of a missing woman’s body in Nanaimo earlier this month is now being treated as homicide, say Nanaimo RCMP. (File photo)
Discovery of woman’s body in downtown Nanaimo now being investigated as a homicide

Amy Watts’s body was discovered near Albert Street and Victoria Crescent on June 3

Two Lotto Max tickets sold on Vancouver Island were winners, though nobody won the $70-million jackpot in Tuesday’s draw. (BCLC image)
Lotto Max player in Nanaimo wins $500,000

Campbell River lotto player wins $1 million in the Tuesday, June 15 draw

Two Lotto Max tickets sold on Vancouver Island were winners, though nobody won the $70-million jackpot in Tuesday’s draw. (BCLC image)
Lotto Max player in Nanaimo wins $500,000

Campbell River lotto player wins $1 million in the Tuesday, June 15 draw

Two ambulances and a medevac helicopter are on scene at Taylor River Flats rest area on Highway 4 due to a serious motor vehicle incident. (PHOTO COURTESY MAGGIE BROWN)
Highway 4 reopens between Port Alberni and Tofino

Multi-vehicle accident temporarily closed highway in both directions

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says re-opening B.C.’s border to the U.S. ‘is not in our best interest’ right now. (B.C. Government photo)
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry (B.C. Government photo)
B.C. records 113 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 4 deaths

Vaccination of young people rising quickly, near 75 per cent

Graeme Roberts, who was mayor of Nanaimo from 1984-86, died this month at age 89. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Community Archives)
City of Nanaimo flags at half-staff as former mayor Graeme Roberts dies at 89

‘Giant-killer’ beat out Frank Ney in mayoral election in 1984

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Most Read