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U.S. Navy and Royal Canadian Navy begin exercise

By Ryan Maass
The amphibious assault ship USS Boxer. For the exercise with the Royal Canadian Navy, the U.S. Navy intends to focus on amphibious combat training. U.S. Navy photo by Mate 3rd Class James F. Bartels
The amphibious assault ship USS Boxer. For the exercise with the Royal Canadian Navy, the U.S. Navy intends to focus on amphibious combat training. U.S. Navy photo by Mate 3rd Class James F. Bartels

WASHINGTON, Oct. 23 (UPI) -- Naval forces from both the United States and Canada began a Task Group Exercise off the coast of Southern California, the U.S. Navy announced Friday.

Vessels from the U.S. Navy's 3rd Fleet are taking part in the exercise to train in amphibious warfare, air defense, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare. Royal Canadian Navy Commander Julian Elbourne says the training will help his forces be more proficient allies.

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"The Royal Canadian Navy frequently participates in training exercises such as this with the U.S. in order to provide mutually beneficial realistic and relevant training which is necessary for the proper integration of units from various nations to work as a cohesive task group," Elbourne said in a statement.

For the exercise, the U.S. Navy is committing amphibious assault ship USS Boxer, amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans, and dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry. The force will also include Expeditionary Strike Group and Amphibious Squadron. The Royal Canadian Navy will commit Halifax-class frigates HMCS Calgary and HMCS Vancouver in addition to Victoria-class submarine HMCS Chicoutimi.

"We are excited to have the opportunity to work with the Royal Canadian Navy," said Capt. Keith Moore, stationed on Boxer. "Operating with our counterparts during this exercise will facilitate a quicker and smoother integration into the coalition environment during our upcoming deployment."

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