Release date: 16 March 2017

JFD undertakes successful exercise showcasing NATO Submarine Rescue System

JFD was recently tasked with taking part in an exercise which required them to demonstrate various elements relevant to the NATO Submarine Rescue System (NSRS) entire rescue/Transfer Under Pressure (TUP) system.

JFD has been an integral part of the UK’s submarine rescue provision since 1985, and has been at the heart of NSRS since it came into service in 2008.  JFD helped to build the system and is responsible for maintaining it at a permanent state of readiness for the UK government – to go anywhere in the world at any time.

Exercise Northern Sun 2017 (NS17) took place between 16th January 2017, when the first equipment left NSRS HQ in HMNB Clyde and concluded on 24th February 2017, when the last of the equipment made its return. 

The exercise itself required the full air mobilisation of the system to Norway for embarkation and simulated rescue operations with a Norwegian Exercise DISSUB at a Northern Norway datum.

The objectives of the exercise were varied and required JFD to demonstrate:

  • Capability in mobilisation of NSRS Rescue Assets to the allocated airport in the UK
  • Air mobilisation to the allocated airport in Norway (providing training and demonstration of the full logistics / administrative chain
  • The embarkation of the NSRS Rescue Assets to a vessel in a Norwegian port
  • Commissioning of the NSRS Rescue System in a timescale representative of the MOSHIP transit time to a distressed submarine
  • Embarkation and operation of NSRS in the extremely challenging northern Norway environmental conditions
  • Various operational capability demonstrations with the equipment
  • The continuation training of personnel which included mating with a live Norwegian submarine and the conducting of a SRV Deep Dive and Target Mate.

In order to begin the exercise the equipment was mobilised from NSRS HQ in HMNB Clyde to Prestwick Airport, then flown via several military sorties using both C-17 and C-130 aircraft as well as commercial chartering of Antonov-124 aircraft to Evenes Airport in Norway, thereafter road transported to Bogen jetty for embarkation of the rescue system to the MOSHIP Norwegian Coastguard Vessel (NOCGV) Sortland. 

On completion of mobilisation the MOSHIP transited to the Exercise DISSUB datum and conducted simulated rescue operations with a live Norwegian submarine. Having conducted the exercise, the MOSHIP transited to Scotland to the disembarkation MOPORT of Leith where the equipment was removed from the vessel and returned to HMNB Clyde for restoration works to achieve “Rescue Readiness” status.  The MOSHIP was then refurbished prior to departure and transited back to Norway.

The exercise concluded satisfactorily, having achieved all of its objectives allocated by the partner nations of UK, France and Norway.

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