Around 2,800 sailors and airmen from eight nations are gathering in Halifax on Friday (6 September 2019) for Cutlass Fury 2019 – the largest Canadian-led naval exercise to take place off Canada’s east coast in decades. The eleven-day exercise will begin on Monday, bringing together 20 ships and 36 aircraft in the waters off Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Training will include air defence, defence against attack from enemy navy vessels, air-to-air combat and defence against submarines.
“The North Atlantic is vital for the security of Europe”, said NATO Spokesperson Oana Lungescu. “It provides a crucial route for reinforcements and supplies from North America to Europe, and supports global trade and communications. Exercises like Cutlass Fury help our Allies to sharpen their skills at sea.”
Participating troops in exercise Cutlass Fury come from Canada, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the United States. One of NATO’s four naval groups – Standing Naval Maritime Group 1 – will also participate in the event. On Saturday, a football match will take place at Canadian Forces Base Halifax as Team North America plays Team Europe for the first Cutlass Fury football cup.
NATO is setting up a new Atlantic Command to ensure the security of sea lines of communication between Europe and North America. Allies are also increasing their presence in the North Atlantic area, including with investments in maritime surveillance and anti-submarine aircraft, as well as frigates and helicopters.