For Your Information
Cutlass Fury War Exercises
Cutlass Fury 2021 is the third such war games held on the east coast of Canada. It was previously held in 2016 and 2019.
Thus far, neither the Department of National Defence (DND) website nor the website of the U.S. Second Fleet Command has issued any news about Cutlass Fury 2021. DND does not list Cutlass Fury from any year in its list of operations and exercises.
In the case of the 2019 exercises, 22 warships and 36 aircraft from eight NATO countries were involved, with Halifax as the launching pad. It was twice the size of the 2016 edition. The exercise ran September 9-20 with the initial area of operation being approximately 50-100 nautical miles southeast of Halifax Harbour as well as off the coast of Newfoundland. The exercise focused “on anti-submarine warfare, air defence, amphibious operations and joint operations.”
Since 2019, as part of the Trudeau government’s campaign to promote membership in NATO as a “Canadian value” and the pillar of an “international rules-based order,” Cutlass Fury has featured high profile public relations events. In 2019 this included warship tours, a fleet review or sailpast in the harbour, a ceremonial flypast and a so-called international soccer game of ship’s crews. Naval personnel circulated promotional posters in the business area of Halifax, something not seen before. All of this could be seen as events designed to reinforce the power and legitimacy of NATO and the Canadian military.
Cutlass Fury 2016, involved naval and air forces from Canada, the U.S., the UK, Spain and France. It was described in the Government of Canada’s Navy News at the time as “the largest ASW [anti-submarine warfare] exercise held in Canadian waters in more than 20 years. As part of ASW scenarios, CF 16 includes five maritime patrol aircraft, six helicopters, three submarines and eight ships.” The exercise ran from September 12 to 26.
Ostensibly a Canadian-led exercise, Cutlass Fury is ultimately under the command of the U.S. Second Fleet, headquartered in Virginia. It is one of eight numbered fleets of the U.S. Navy current active prowling the world’s oceans as part of imposing though force or threat of force U.S. hegemonic and geopolitical aims on the peoples of the world. The Second Fleet operates in the Atlantic Ocean from as far north the North Pole and south into the Caribbean, and eastward into the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The U.S. Third Fleet operates in the western half of the Atlantic Ocean.