chats alter links
Matthew Stuckless, of No. 92 Wing, served in the Canadian destroyer
WAS the Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) subject matter expert on
board HMCS Algonquin.
My duties included briefi ng the Commodore and staff on planned
MPA fl ying and results, participating in planning conferences,
advising on undersea warfare tactics and asset employment, liaising
with the multinational force MPA Commander’s staff at Kaneohe
Bay, liaising with the Combined Air Operations Centre at Pearl
Harbour and working with the Surface Combat Centre battle watch
staff and Algonquin’s air controllers on MPA employment matters.
I was employed in the Fleet Planning Offi ce (a closet with half
a dozen computers in it) and the ship’s operations room.
Algonquin provided valuable insight into how a major event is
run from the other side.
My biggest learning point was the extensive use of computer chat
rooms for communications instead of traditional radio and message
traffi c, and the challenges of making connectivity work with
different nationalities and communication networks.
The exercise afforded a number of new experiences. One was watching
a decommissioned US destroyer slip beneath the waves after being
pounded by naval gun-fire.
Witnessing a multi-ship surface-to-air engagement against a low-fl
ying drone was another. There were also negatives. Going without
hot water for 36 hours followed by no water at all for another
12 hours tested everyone’s patience.
Though, overall, the experience was educational and provided unique
opportunities. Throughout the exercise, the MPAs enjoyed a very
high mission accomplishment rate.
The Commodore noted this and has thanked everyone in the Air Force
who made the exercise a success.