Thursday, January 28, 2010

US 2nd Fleet Establishes Communication Milestone with Canadian Navy

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- The commander of U.S. 2nd Fleet (C2F) successfully communicated real time via the Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNET) system with Canada's commander of Maritime Forces Atlantic (MARLANT) and commander, Joint Task Force Atlantic (JTFA) located in Halifax, Canada Jan. 20.

Previously, SIPRNET chat capability between C2F and JTFA was not available.

"This commander to commander chat marks an important initial operating capability," said Commander, 2nd Fleet, Vice Adm. Mel Williams Jr. to MARLANT/JTFA Commander Rear Adm. Paul Maddison during their online conversation.

"The Maritime Operations Command and Control capability is consistent with Second Fleet's focus to team with allies and partners," Williams said.

This additional command and control capability resulted from three months of multinational effort involving Information Technology technicians from Second Fleet, Maritime Forces Atlantic/Joint Task Force Atlantic and the United Kingdom.

JTFA and C2F train and operate together along with U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area in support of Northern Command's Maritime Homeland Defense. The need to improve communications was a topic during tri-lateral staff talks in Halifax, Nova Scotia, between U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area, Maritime Forces Atlantic/Joint Task Force Atlantic and 2nd Fleet Oct. 13-15, 2009.

The talks provided the opportunity for the three commanders, as well as personnel from each participating command, to discuss the concept of operations to conduct combined Department of Defense, Coast Guard and Canadian forces maritime operations, exercises, information sharing and communications.