In this file photo the Guided-missile cruiser USS Port Royal (CG 73) departs Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam to begin the sea phase of Rim of the Pacific exercise 2012 July 11.

PEARL HARBOR – USS Port Royal (CG 73), homeported at Pearl Harbor, will participate in the theater anti-submarine warfare (TASW) phase of the Submarine Commander’s Course (SCC) and a task group exercise (TGEX) alongside the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN). The exercise will take place off the coast of Oahu Feb. 11-17.

Also participating in the exercise will be USS Chafee (DDG 90) and Helicopter AntiSubmarine Squadron Light 37 (HSL 37), USNS Guadalupe (T-AO 200), and several Hawaii-based submarines.

Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships (HMCS) Ottawa and Algonquin will return to Hawaii for the exercise after participating in Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) in 2012. Following RIMPAC, the RCN hosted the United States for a TGEX off the west coast of Vancouver Island in October 2012.

The purpose of the task group exercise is to increase proficiency in allied operations. Events will include anti-aircraft, anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare training.

“We look forward to operating with our Canadian partners,” said Capt. Eric F. Weilenman, Port Royal’s commanding officer.

“The crew is excited to take part in another international exercise after working with the RCN during RIMPAC,” he said.

The exercise marks another high note for the Port Royal which ended 2012 by winning the JBPHH Afloat Flag Football competition and recently earned the Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet Retention Excellence Award for FY12.

February’s TGEX marks another step forward in Canada’s goal of “remaining interoperable with the U.S. military” and “carrying out bilateral training and exercises with the United States” as laid out in Canadian Defence Minister Peter MacKay’s “Canada First Defence Strategy.”

Maritime exercises between the United States Navy and other countries provide the unique training opportunities that help participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans.

Joint, interagency and international relationships strengthen the ability to respond to crises and protect the collective maritime interests of the U.S. and its allies and partners.