Author Topic: All Things HMCS Windsor (merged)  (Read 26563 times)

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Offline milnews.ca

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Re: All Things HMCS Windsor (merged)
« Reply #75 on: June 06, 2016, 04:41:15 »
And back she comes ...
Quote
For the second time in four months, HMCS Windsor is heading back to Halifax so crews can find out what went wrong with the sub.

The latest issue arose on Friday when the supercharger on one of its two generators broke — possibly delaying the submarine's participation in a NATO exercise in Norway this month.

Early Friday morning the sub picked up and dropped off personnel in St. John's, said Capt. Jamie Clarke, commander of Canada's submarine fleet.

The crew started the sub's diesel generators, but one of them shut off without warning. They tried again and the problem persisted ...
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Offline Lumber

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Re: All Things HMCS Windsor (merged)
« Reply #76 on: June 06, 2016, 08:08:48 »
At this point I can't tell if we really did get a crap deal on these subs, or if we are just really bad at submarine maintenance...
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Re: All Things HMCS Windsor (merged)
« Reply #77 on: June 06, 2016, 08:24:26 »
After my time at FMF, I am of the opinion that we got a bum deal.

Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: All Things HMCS Windsor (merged)
« Reply #78 on: June 06, 2016, 08:28:03 »
Or neither of these things.

Superchargers crap out. It happens, even with brand new ones some times.

I remember a NATO ex where the steamers had to replace four turbo's between the three of them. Two of them were brand new.

Offline Underway

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Re: All Things HMCS Windsor (merged)
« Reply #79 on: June 08, 2016, 10:15:51 »
At this point I can't tell if we really did get a crap deal on these subs, or if we are just really bad at submarine maintenance...

More likely every little niggling thing that goes wrong with the subs gets reported as it feeds the narrative.  Don't see much about the consistent problems that other platforms are known for.  If a sub dives the press are likely to report it as sinking at this point.  Hence the new media blitz to save the sub force.

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Re: All Things HMCS Windsor (merged)
« Reply #80 on: June 13, 2016, 06:35:17 »
On her way back to the NATO ex ...
Quote
The Canadian sub HMCS Windsor is back at sea following engine repairs and navy commanders are confident the maintenance woes won’t imperil its participation in NATO exercises later this month.

The sub had embarked on its trans Atlantic crossing just over a week ago when problems with an engine supercharger forced a return to port in Halifax for repairs.

Rear-Adm. John Newton, commander of Maritime Forces Atlantic, praised maintenance crews for the quick turnaround and said the cause of the supercharger failure remains under investigation.

“It is not like other failure modes we have witnessed over the years,” Newton told the Star in an email Sunday.

But he said in the repair and engine trials, crews took a “hard look” at related equipment to assure themselves that there were not other problems with the sub before heading back to sea ...
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Offline Old Sweat

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Re: All Things HMCS Windsor (merged)
« Reply #81 on: June 13, 2016, 06:43:52 »
And she has been doing other "things" as well, as this story from The Toronto Star reproduced under the Fair Dealings provisions of the Copyright Act indicates:

Submarines and special forces soldiers are front line in stealthy warfare
A daring parachute drop last fall by Canadian special forces soldiers underscored their growing relationship with submarines.


By BRUCE CAMPION-SMITHOttawa Bureau
Sun., June 12, 2016

OTTAWA—Far off the coast of Portugal, the Canadian special forces soldiers vaulted themselves out the back of a military Hercules transport plane with nothing but empty ocean below.

Well beyond swimming distance to the coast, it seemed like an act of dangerous derring-do, even for special forces soldiers.

But as the troops descended under their parachute canopies, a black mass broke the ocean surface — the Canadian submarine HMCS Windsor — for a carefully choreographed ocean rendezvous.

The soldiers clambered on board the sub, down the hatch and boat sank back below the waves.

“It takes a lot of courage to jump out the back of an airplane when all you see is water around you and just trust that something will pop up. It was pretty amazing,” Maj-Gen. Mike Rouleau, commander of Canadian Special Operations Forces Command said in interview.

“The submarine offers a really useful tool to be able to insert or extract from,” Rouleau said.

Indeed, with its new passengers on board, the submarine moved closer to the coastline, unseen below the waves. It surfaced again and the soldiers broke out their specialized gear — fast boats and outboard motors — that had been carried onboard the sub from Canada in a watertight compartment below its main deck.

“My job is to get them on target. They just drop into the big blue ocean and trust that we are nearby,” Rear-Adm. John Newton, commander of Maritime Forces Atlantic, told the Star.

This training happened last fall during an extended mission by HMCS Windsor in European waters, where the sub participated in a number of exercises with allied nations. While the military said publicly that those drills also involved working with the special forces soldiers, the exact details were never released.

Yet the daring parachute drop out of the Canadian C-130J Hercules highlights the growing relationship between the two shadowy elements of Canada’s military — special forces and the submarine fleet.

More and more, Canada’s four submarines are exercising with special forces soldiers — at least when the subs can be put to sea. Currently, only HMCS Windsor is available for operations and in recent days it has been sidelined in port with engine troubles.

“We’re operating a lot with the SOF (special operations forces). We really like working with them. It’s one of the coolest things we do ... That’s movie stuff,” said Lt.-Cmdr. Peter Chu, commander of HMCS Windsor.

Indeed, when French special forces found out about the exercise they too wanted to train with the sub though that didn’t happen because of scheduling challenges, Chu said.

Special forces soldiers are at the forefront of changing warfare, from large-scale confrontations to small teams training local militaries to conduct missions or carrying out those missions themselves.

Newton says there are natural synergies between sub crews and special forces troops — the stealthy aspect of their missions, working in the shadows.

“They are ... built for each other in how they think and act,” Newton told the Star.

Both Newton and Rouleau were on hand when trials were done earlier last year off the coast of Nova Scotia. Rough seas made getting onboard the submarine a challenge for the 10 soldiers who dropped into the water that time.

“Swimming onboard a submarine sounds fun. It’s anything but,” Newton said.

But they learned lessons from that experience — like flooding the sub more so the stern sat lower in the water, making it easier to get onboard.

Special forces soldiers have been working with the navy to hone their capabilities for maritime events such as ship hijackings, combating pirates, covert insert and extraction from coastal locations, intelligence and surveillance.

Canada’s special forces units have two dedicated depots — one on each coast — that store equipment and are equipped with briefing rooms and communications suites to serve as a hub in the event of a maritime emergency.

In return, the navy has tapped the expertise of special forces troops, notably to help train new so-called “enhanced boarding parties.” These teams of sailors are specially trained to tackle situations with greater risk than might confront a conventional boarding party. The 10-person teams will be deployed on ships bound for risky areas.

Special ops soldiers also advised the navy in the purchase of new fast boats for those boarding teams.

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Re: All Things HMCS Windsor (merged)
« Reply #82 on: June 13, 2016, 06:49:33 »
Yeah, funny how stories from last fall are starting to seep out during the Defence Review ...
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Offline Underway

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Re: All Things HMCS Windsor (merged)
« Reply #83 on: June 13, 2016, 08:31:24 »
Yeah, funny how stories from last fall are starting to seep out during the Defence Review ...

It's like the military decided that Canadians actually need to know what we are doing  :nod:.  I always thought that we were overly secretive with regards to these capabilities and could do better advertising. 

Offline Old Sweat

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Re: All Things HMCS Windsor (merged)
« Reply #84 on: June 13, 2016, 09:01:36 »
And the airborne regiment recce platoon and FOO parties (-) from the airborne battery were inserting from a West Coast submarine as early as circa 1969 or 1970. I believe they embarked before sailing, at least originally.

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Re: All Things HMCS Windsor (merged)
« Reply #85 on: June 13, 2016, 09:39:33 »
I remember watching the Pathfinders exercise with WIN from the deck of PRE in 06.  Was an interesting show. 

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« Last Edit: June 13, 2016, 10:28:09 by milnews.ca »

Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: All Things HMCS Windsor (merged)
« Reply #86 on: June 13, 2016, 09:49:44 »
I think you are thinking of an urban legend, Old Sweat.

First of all, inserting one or two spies/special operatives/agents by submarines goes back to WWII, but the idea of inserting rather larger numbers of special forces and loading their equipment on a submarine is rather much more recent idea, which occurred only when nuclear boats made the room required available.

HMCS GRILSE and HMCS RAINBOW were very small submarines. There would not have been enough room onboard for more than a couple of "visitors" and absolutely nowhere near room for a platoon of people. Moreover, there was absolutely no room onboard for any of these peoples equipment or for boats to carry them ashore.

In fact we would have been hard pressed to carry more than four or five extra people and their equipment - if they travelled light - on the "O" boats.

The Victoria class boats are not only roomier, have a smaller crew, but were designed with the possibility of landing special forces in mind to start with.

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Re: All Things HMCS Windsor (merged)
« Reply #87 on: June 13, 2016, 10:13:59 »
I think you are thinking of an urban legend, Old Sweat.

First of all, inserting one or two spies/special operatives/agents by submarines goes back to WWII, but the idea of inserting rather larger numbers of special forces and loading their equipment on a submarine is rather much more recent idea, which occurred only when nuclear boats made the room required available.

HMCS GRILSE and HMCS RAINBOW were very small submarines. There would not have been enough room onboard for more than a couple of "visitors" and absolutely nowhere near room for a platoon of people. Moreover, there was absolutely no room onboard for any of these peoples equipment or for boats to carry them ashore.

In fact we would have been hard pressed to carry more than four or five extra people and their equipment - if they travelled light - on the "O" boats.

The Victoria class boats are not only roomier, have a smaller crew, but were designed with the possibility of landing special forces in mind to start with.
Actually I saw a clip of it in a DND film at CFHQ in circa 1972 and recently have also interviewed an individual who did it onto Vancouver Island at the time for the airborne gunner history. Agreed that it was only done to land a very small number of troops because of the size of the submarines. Sorry for the impression that the complete platoon landed.

Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: All Things HMCS Windsor (merged)
« Reply #88 on: June 13, 2016, 10:24:32 »
OK.

A few soldiers (say 3 to 5 max.) makes sense. Even then, I hope none of them suffered from claustrophobia  ;D.

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Re: All Things HMCS Windsor (merged)
« Reply #89 on: June 13, 2016, 10:26:11 »
It's like the military decided that Canadians actually need to know what we are doing  :nod:.
Or their bosses have stopped keeping them from saying so ...
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Offline Colin P

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Re: All Things HMCS Windsor (merged)
« Reply #90 on: June 13, 2016, 10:37:40 »
Only the bad news was getting out, so holding back was clearly shooting themselves in the foot. Some people are going to say that it's propaganda, but as long as both the good and bad comes out, then it's balanced. When it comes to explaining bang for the buck to Canadians, the military has generally failed in that mission.

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Re: All Things HMCS Windsor (merged)
« Reply #91 on: June 13, 2016, 12:41:22 »
Or their bosses have stopped keeping them from saying so ...
I don't think it's that way. Squeaky wheel gets the grease. Afghan is over, daily stories about the CAF stopped. Likely led to less public backlash over cuts. The more we can push to the media, especially "sexy" but usually classified stuff like SOF and subs, gets to keep the CAF writ-large in the public eye.