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A demonstration of NATO presence

Heroes Remember

A demonstration of NATO presence

I was on frigates initially in Fraser, and it coincided in . . . I was . . . that was in the late 60s, early 70s. It was certainly . . . the Cold War was, was, was certainly the peak kind of operational concerns. So we spent an awful lot of time in major NATO exercises, demonstrating NATO presence. We would normally do work ups and so on in the Caribbean, usually a NATO exercise, a low, lower key NATO exercise in the Western Atlantic. In the, in the spring, early summer, we would normally spend spring/summer, a bit closer to home doing fisheries patrols. And in those days, Canada had just declared the 200 mile limit, so we were doing fishery patrols exercising Canada's 200 mile limit. And the fall would normally be a very high intensity NATO exercise, that would normally, would be involve Americans, British, most of the large NATO countries. And the focus really would be to demonstrate NATO's presence in the North Norwegian Sea. Frequently, although the exercise would be operating against, against NATO aircraft, NATO submarines, the reality is we were normally involved with a number of Soviet submarines and Soviet aircraft and so on. So, it was very much, in addition to training, a demonstration of NATO presence in a north Norwegian Sea, normally. Sometimes in the Mediterranean, but normally, normally off, of northern Norway. Many of the focal points of, of these NATO exercises in north Norway would be some kind of a landing by either the British Royal Marines or the, or the US Marines and and that sort of thing. And we would basically protect convoys, or protect those forces, or provide protection to aircraft carriers that might be projecting air power ashore. Fundamentally, in a Canadian context, our focus, although we did have to be able to defend ourselves against air attack or missiles, that kind of thing, our primary focus was anti-submarine warfare and primarily tracking Soviet nuclear submarines. Either nuclear attack submarines or actually nuclear ballistic missile firing submarines, which became a focus in terms of Iroquois, when I was commanding Iroquois. NATO, at the time, was moving, was in the '83, '84 period, and NATO was moving Pershing II missiles into Europe. And the Soviet response was really to increase dramatically, the presence of Soviet ballistic missile firing submarines in the, in the Atlantic off North America. And my ship had been . . . it had been planned that Iroquois would, would be fitted with an acoustic towed array, a passive towed array. Primarily at the time, the intent had been to do trials on the system, because we knew we were moving to the new Canadian patrol frigate, which was equipped with, with that equipment. So, it was, it was really to do trials on a ship that had gas turbine propulsion, like, like the CPFs, which the 280s did and still do. <P>

Mr. Murray discusses the two principal roles of the Canadian Navy.

Lawrence Edward Murray

Mr. Murray was born in Stratford, Ontario, on June 6, 1947. Strongly influenced by family and friends who had joined the Navy, he entered officer training at HMCS Carleton base in Ottawa. Following that, he began his progression through the rank echelon, starting on the west coast aboard the HMCS Fraser as the Navigation Officer. Once on the east coast, he joined the crew of HMCS Algonquin as her Combat Officer, then became Executive Officer or Second in Command aboard HMCS Athabascan. Mr. Murray then moved to HMCS Iroquois as her Commanding Officer. He then rose to the position of Squadron Commander, 1st Canadian Destroyer Squadron. During his service, the Canadian Navy was actively involved in both NATO / Cold War ( primarily surveillance of Soviet submarines ) and Fisheries Patrol activities. He also led a rescue mission off the Grand Banks, saving the entire crew of a disabled merchant ship during a hurricane. After leaving the Navy, Mr. Murray pursued a career in the Canadian Public service, and is currently the Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. He resides in Ottawa, Ontario.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Lawrence Edward Murray
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
North Atlantic Ocean
NATO and Fisheries Patrol
HMCS Fraser
Squadron Commander
2nd Vice Admiral

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