‘Birds of a feather’ share torpedo knowledge

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Gary McHugh (author), CPOIS Damian Pawlenko (photographer)

Location(s): Fleet Base West

Topic(s): HMAS Stirling, Fleet Base West

Director General Explosive Material, Commodore Simon Ottaviano, RAN, makes an opening address prior to the 'Welcome to Country' ceremony at the Torpedo Organisation United States, Canada, Australia, and Netherlands (TOUCAN) International Forum meeting in the HMAS Stirling Cinema, Western Australia.  (photo: CPOIS Damian Pawlenko)
Director General Explosive Material, Commodore Simon Ottaviano, RAN, makes an opening address prior to the 'Welcome to Country' ceremony at the Torpedo Organisation United States, Canada, Australia, and Netherlands (TOUCAN) International Forum meeting in the HMAS Stirling Cinema, Western Australia.
Some of the world’s foremost authorities for the MK48, MK46 and MK54 torpedo systems came together recently at HMAS Stirling in Western Australia.
 
The ‘TOUCAN’, or Torpedo Organisation United States, Canada, Australia, Netherlands Conference involves select countries with a common interest in United States torpedo support, development, innovation and utilisation, and was held between 25 – 29 September.
 
Capability, Acquisition and Sustainment Group Logistics Manager Johan van der Bie said it was very important for Australia to continue to be a key player in the annual discussion.
 
“The conference, which has been held for more than 17 years under different names, provides a valuable forum for the exchange of torpedo performance analysis, employment, upgrade plans and support activities including innovation and benchmarking among member nations,” he said.
 
“Essentially, the purpose is to provide a forum for the exchange of information on common operational and technical issues between nations that use the MK48 heavyweight and MK46/MK54 lightweight torpedoes,” Mr van der Bie said.
 
In 2013, a formal statement of intent was signed by representatives from the four-member nations, with each nation taking it in turn to host the event.
 
This year’s conference was held under the sponsorship of the Director-General Explosive Material Branch Commodore Simon Ottaviano.
 
“TOUCAN has also been a major vehicle for sharing experiences about the operational capability and support for the USN sourced torpedoes – its value to the torpedo enterprise cannot be overstated for users (including ship’s staff), capability management and support agencies,” Commodore Ottaviano said.