That Indo-Pacific Deployment 2024 leads the training association of the Navy westwards, first to the east coast of NATO partner Canada. The Atlantic crossing from 7 to 17 May the Royal Canadian Navy for professional exchange. With the German “Frankfurt am Main” Canadian exchange officers experienced an unprecedented in serviced, new class of supply ships in practice.

225 German marines have been trained with the task force supply ship “Frankfurt am Main”. Main” crossed the Atlantic. Also on board were four Canadian guests. For the Ten-day trip from Wilhelmshaven to Halifax was Frigate Captain Landon Creasy with three other officers on board. Creasy is the designated commander of future task force supply HMCS (His Majesty’s Canadian Ship) Protecteur of the Royal Canadian Navy.

The Canadian Naval Forces are currently The “Protecteur” and a sister ship, the “preservers”, build. With the delivery of Creasys new ship the Royal Canadian Navy next year. The Predecessor ships of the Protecteur class were not of the same type of ship: no multi-purpose supply ships, only fleet tankers. And they have been out of service for about ten years.

The Canadian Navy therefore needs an update for the operation of supply ships, especially those of the Berlin class. Because this in type of ship built in Germany, which also includes The “Frankfurt am Main Main” is also a template for the New Canadian Navy Ships: The Protecteur Class is a modified licensed construction.

Like the German army, the Canadian armed forces base their acquisition of new systems on the capabilities they are intended to offer. “What we looked at when procuring the Protecteur class was not so much the ship itself, but rather what the ship should do,” explains Creasy.

The Canadian Navy had certain requirements regarding the size of its own shipyard and the size of the ship itself. The capabilities had to offer an optimal mix of the greatest possible supply for combat ships as well as cross-service support. Aspects such as helicopter handling, the ship’s hospital and ammunition storage were important to the Canadians .

The Berlin class from a German manufacturer would have been the best offer on the international market, the best mix of the capabilities needed for the Canadian Navy, said Creasy. “So we bought the design and made some changes to it.”

“With the SH-148 Cyclone, we have a much larger multi-purpose helicopter than the German Navy,” says Lieutenant Commander Cyrus S.*

He is the cargo officer of the future ” Protecteur” and currently also holds the position of ship’s engineering officer. “We had to adapt the shape and size of the hangar and make related design changes to the superstructure,” he explains. “But for example, the hull shape itself, the structure of the propulsion system or the fuel bunkers are fine as they are.”

But the Canadians were primarily interested in the operational procedures on the German ship during their trip. “Every day on board is filled with getting to know the German way of working in detail , comparing it with ours – and above all with the way a supply ship works for us,” says Lieutenant Commander Ryan D.*, Creasy’s first officer. “It’s been ten years since the Canadian Navy had this capability. This ship is much more similar to what we will get than our old class of ship. That’s ultimately why we’re here: to pick your brain.”

Commander Creasy provides examples of this. “We are learning a number of practices from the German Navy that I really appreciate, such as the management of the bridge team,” he adds of his first officer. He and his officers also learned a lot about the military medical facilities and procedures on the German task force supply ship. “This allows us to better estimate how we can put together the medical staff on the ‘Protecteur’ in order to fully exploit the ship’s capabilities.”

After commissioning, the first of the two new Pacific Forces Task Force Support Ships is scheduled to be assigned to the Royal Canadian Navy, with its sister ship to the Atlantic Forces. Ships of this type are extremely important to the Canadian fleet, as it has to cover enormous distances just to operate in its home waters. Canada has the world’s longest coastline along three oceans: the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic.

The Royal Canadian Navy has two spatially separate large units with naval bases on the east and west coasts – just like the German Navy, which is divided into units for two marginal seas: the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. But a trip from the naval base in Wilhelmshaven to the base in Kiel via the Kiel Canal only takes about a day.

It takes Canadian ships almost a month to move from Halifax , Nova Scotia, on the Atlantic, through the Panama Canal to Esquimalt , British Columbia, on the Pacific , so the Canadian Navy ‘s frigates, patrol vessels, multipurpose boats and submarines can make good use of powerful supply ships .

For Landon Creasy, the trip on the “Frankfurt am Main” was his first collaboration with the German Navy and thus also his first encounter with the Berlin class. “It was a great experience!” he says. He and his management team learned an astonishing amount about the ship in the ten days on board. Apart from details, the German and Canadian navies have more in common than they differ. “We are very , very grateful for the opportunity not only to see the ship, but also to make new friends,” says Creasy.

As soon as HMCS “Protecteur” is commissioned , the Canadians plan to invite the crew of the “Frankfurt am Main” for a return visit. This way they can present their new build and its changes compared to the Berlin class. “My dream,” Creasy concludes, “is to see the ‘Protecteur’ together with the ‘Frankfurt am Main’ in a photo in the Pacific in a year and a halfF

By Editor