TRIDENT FURY was the largest joint Canadian / United States combined exercise on the West Coast of Canada this year. Held from May 2-13, the coalition based exercise was hosted by Joint Task Force Pacific Headquarters (JFTP) and executed by the Pacific Fleet Commander. The main objectives during the exercise were to build capability skills and expertise that can be deployed anywhere in the world, and allow the Canadian Forces to exercise its sovereignty at home and abroad.
Trident Fury uses the area around Vancouver Island as the "playground" for the exercise. Implementing a made up scenerio of two countires at the verge of war with Vancouver Island geographically split in half (north and south), the "bad country" known as Orange and the "good country" known as Green. Between these two "countries" was a DMZ and each day a scripted scenerio of the battlefield would be played out, the participants would engage each other in the air and at sea. The scripted missions would also serve as a final exam for the sailors that were involved with the Operations Room Officer(ORO) course. These sudents were aboard the Canadian Frigates, HMCS Vancouver and Winnipeg. Trident Fury provides a training opportunity that enhances the interoperability between the two nations, at sea or in the air- all participants were able to develop and improve their skills that they may have to execute anywhere in the world at a moments notice.
During the exercise, the Canadian Air Force flew from 19 Wing Comox located on the east coast of Vancouver Island deploying; CF-18 Hornet's from 409 Nighthawks Sqdn from Cold Lake and 425 Alouette Sqn based at 3 Wing Bagotville, a CC-130T Hercules from 435 Squadron based at 17 Wing, Winnipeg, Alpha Jets from Top Aces and 414 "Black Knights" Electronic Warfare Squadron playing the role as "Red Air" and CP-140 Aurora's from 405 Squadron in Greenwood and home based 407 "Demon" Squadron. Out at sea three CH-124 Sea King's from 443 "Hornet" Maritime Helicopter Squadron operated from the deck of Canadian frigates and destroyers. The US participated with Oregon ANG F-15C Eagles from 123rd Fighter Squadron and a E-3C AWACS from 962 Airborne Air Control Squadron based Elemendorf AFB in Alaska - these crews flew from their respective bases and returned after each mission. The US Navy sent three MH-53E Sea Dragon from NAS Norfolk, Virginia to perform the Mine Counter Measure role.
Naval assests from the Canadian Navy included Her Majesty's Canadian Ship Algonquin, Protecteur, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Vancouver, Saskatoon, Brandon, Nanaimo, Whitehorse and submarine HMCS Corner Brook. The Canadian Navy also contributed the Fleet Dive Unit (Pacific) Divers and members from the Mine Counter Measure / Mine Warfare Coordination Centre. The US participated with the USS Lake Erie, USS Warrior and US Coast Guard Cutter Orcas. Other US Navy assests included the Marine Mammal Systems, Unmanned Underwater Vehicles and the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Divers.
Canada is presently operating the Hornet, Aurora, Hercules, Sea King and CC-150T Polaris in Libya (known in the CF as Operation Mobile), the CF has not changed or increased its training tempo. Captain Rick "RV" Vinet is a Tactical Navigator on the CP-140 Aurora and says,"We train for all situations and our training is ongoing with no increase since operations in Libya." He continued," We have young crews that have only been on the squadron for six to eight weeks, Trident Fury proivides them a new training experience, including supporting the Navy during night missions and being their eye in the sky, providing a live video feed to the ships using our Forward Looking Infra Red (FLIR) camera located under the nose of the aircraft." The Aurora is a mulitfaceted platform that performs many vital roles including ISR, surface ops, surface to surface missile intel as well as target info. The Aurora crews were also tasked during Trident Fury with supporting Exercise Maple Guardian, an Army exercise held at CFB Wainwright located in Alberta, an hour flight from Comox. At the time of this interview, 407 Sqn was in the planning stages to fly to Winnipeg, Manitoba to assist in the relief effort from the massive flooding that has taken many homes from Canadians in that province.
TEXACO 61 - AIR TO AIR REFUELLING
A CC-130T Hercules from 435 Squadron based at 17 Wing, Winnipeg supported the fighters with the vital Air to Air Refuelling (AAR) role. The Hercules is a multi-role aircraft that has seen more combat experience than the Hornet's it refuels. The Hercules from 435 Sqn also perform troop transport, tactical airlift and Search and Rescue roles and is the only Hercules squadron in the CAF that can provide AAR. An experienced ground crew can have a Hercules configured for AAR within eight hours.
During Trident Fury, the Hercules carried the callsign, Texaco 61 and their role was to fuel the Hornet's while they performed their mission. The AAR role is dynamic and exciting when witnessed first hand. The Hercules carries 38000lbs for Tactical AAR and usually refuels two Hornet's simultaneously. To perform this task the Hercules deploys two baskets from pods located on the outer wings, the Hornets use their refuelling probes located infront of the cockpit on the starboard side. The Hornet pilot flies his jet into the basket until he makes contact, once a good connection is made, fuel is transferred to the jet at a rate between 1000-2000lbs/min. The process takes less than five minutes and the skill of the pilots to fly that slow and close to the Hercules is impressive. The altitude can change from mission to mission, during our flight we conducted AAR at 20,000 ft. The close proximity of so many planes in one area is astounding, as in many cases two or more thirsty Hornet's are flying off the Hercules port wing in close formation patiently waiting for fuel. After the CF-18 receives fuel he flies to the starboard wing of the Herc and waits for his wingman or flight to complete their refuelling.
This exercise allowed the Canadian Forces personnel to develop skills and expertise that can be deployed anywhere in the world, while allowing the Navy to support Canadian sovereignty at home or abroad.
|AIRCRAFT||SQUADRON||BASED FOR EX.|
|F-15C Eagle||123rd Fighter Squadron||Portland International Airport|
|E-3C Sentry AWACS||962 Airborne Air Control Squadron||Elemendorf AFB, Alaska|
|Alpha Jet||Top Aces Consulting||19 Wing Comox|
|Sea King||443 "Hornet's"||Victoria International Airport/ HelAirDets on ships|
|CF-18M||409 NIGHTHAWKS TFS and 425 ALOUETTE TFS||19 Wing Comox|
|CP-140 Aurora||407 "DEMON" and 405 Squadron||19 Wing Comox|
|ALPHA JET and WESTWIND||TOP ACES||19 Wing Comox|
|MH-53 Sea Dragon||MH-14 from NAS Norvolk, Virginia||unknown location during exercise|
I would like to thank PAO Captain Alex Cadieux - 19 Wing Comox, the crew of "Texaco 61" and Major Paul "SQUISH" Umrysh for their support during Trident Fury 2011.