BOSTON — U.S. Coast Guard crews from Southeastern New England conducted various evolutions with the Royal Canadian Navy to train and improve the inter-operability of the two nations’ militaries and surface search and rescue assets.
Coast Guard Station Woods Hole, Coast Guard Station Provincetown, Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod and HMCS Summerside conducted homeland security, anti-terrorism, search and rescue, and medical evacuation operations.
The training commenced in Buzzards Bay, Monday with a Coast Guard Station Woods Hole 29-foot Response Boat Small simulating a boat protesting against the Royal Canadian Navy. The attack vessel, represented by the Coast Guard small boat, approached HMCS Summerside prompting the ships crew to stand up their force protection measures to defend the ship.
“We are always happy to help train other agencies, and today’s event presented a unique opportunity to assist another country in the evaluation of their training and procedures,” said Matthew Oliveira, executive petty officer of Station Woods Hole.
The afternoon training segment took place north of Provincetown, where Air Station Cape Cod conducted hoisting operations from a MH-60 Helicopter to the HMCS Summerside.
A helicopter rescue crew from Air Station Cape Cod in Bourne trained with the Canadian Navy in Cape Cod Bay. An aviation survival technician and a public affairs specialist were lowered onto the Canadian Warship HMCS Summerside for a mock medical evacuation.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Mario Estevane entered the ship where the simulated “patient” was strapped to a gurney. The patient was a crewmember onboard the Summerside and had to act out his injury so the aviation survival technician could make an assessment on the severity of the injury and transferability of the patient.
“In a real-word medevac,” Estevane explained to the Summerside crew, “I would do my own initial assessment of the patient and there would be a Coast Guard corpsman to provide medical assistance once the patient was aboard the helicopter.”
Estevane explained ways to secure a patient and various hoisting techniques employed to get people off a ship and into Coast Guard aircraft.
The MH-60 crew hovered above the Summerside and lowered the rescue basket. The Canadian crew watched as Estevane loaded the Coast Guard photographer inside the basket who was hoisted into the helicopter to conclude the training.
“We work together all the time with our Canadian neighbors on search and rescue cases and maritime security,” said Lt. Adam Schmid, First Coast Guard District, “Joint trainings like this keep our crews current and help understand each others capabilities.”
Currently, the Summerside is conducting work ups (Operational Sea Test) for Maritime Forces Atlantic (MARLANT) in advance of their assigned operational mission.
The HMCS Summerside is a Royal Canadian Navy Maritime Coastal Defence Vessel, Kingston-class warship. The 55.3m (181-ft) Kingston-class Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels (MCDVs) ships are multi-role minor war vessels with a primary mission of coastal surveillance and patrol including general naval operations and exercises, search and rescue, law enforcement, resource protection and fisheries patrols. There are 12 Kingston-class ships in the Royal Canadian fleet. The Summerside was launched in 1998 and is home-ported in Halifax, Nova Scotia.