Canadian and U.S. forces team up with Frontier Sentinel

NORFOLK, Va. – Approximately 3,000 personnel from Canadian and U.S. military forces and government civilian agencies will participate in the full-scale training exercise Frontier Sentinel (EX FS 08-2), which will focus on maritime homeland security from June 9-13, 2008.

The exercise will take place in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean, off the coasts of Maine and New Hampshire.

“This exercise tests and validates the ability of U.S. forces, Canadian forces, and civilian agencies to work together to our mutual benefit,” said the Exercise Director, Capt. Christian Haugen. “We have plans and procedures in place — with Frontier Sentinel, we can see what works, and what needs polishing. As a result, we strengthen our ability as allies to protect and defend North America as a whole.”

The purpose of the Frontier Sentinel exercise series is to exercise coordinated planning and response to maritime threats to North America. Coast Guard Atlantic Area, Second Fleet, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Customs and Border Protection and Joint Task Force Atlantic (Canadian East Coast Forces), make up the core group of operational commanders responsible for Maritime Homeland Security and Defense on the East Coast.

Frontier Sentinel 08-2 is the fifth exercise in the series. The scenario for this exercise involves an underwater mine explosion located near Portsmouth, N.H. It involves the coordinated detection, assessment and response to a maritime security threat to Canada and the U.S.

“When making decisions as a unified command, we need to ensure that all agencies involved are mentally and operationally aligned,” said Capt. James E. Rendon, commander of the Coast Guard Sector Northern New England, and Captain of the Port for the region.

The Frontier Sentinel exercise’s objective is to practice, evaluate, and recommend improvements for multi-agency responses to maritime security threats with a focus on underwater mine detection and countermeasures.

Exercise planners chose this area because of the unique challenges it offers. The port is home to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and a host of key industrial facilities, many of which are vital to the New England energy infrastructure.

Capt. Jeff Carlson of the U.S. Navy’s Mine and Anti-Sub warfare division also highlighted the need to forge a close partnership, stating that “our objective is the same as the Captain of the Port’s, which is to determine the safest route in and out of the port as quickly as possible.”

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