CANADIAN ARCTIC – A 1993 Montgomery Blair High School graduate and native of Silver Spring, Maryland, participated in Operation Nanook-Tuugaalik 2020, a multinational maritime exercise conducted in the Canadian Arctic, Aug. 4 to 24.
Cmdr. Thanh D. Hoang is serving aboard USS Thomas Hudner, a guided-missile destroyer, that is taking part in the exercise which focuses on multiple warfare areas including maritime interdiction operations, ice diving, air defense, damage control, search and rescue and amphibious operations.
Operation Nanook-Tuugaalik is the Canadian Armed Forces’ signature northern operation comprised of a series of comprehensive, joint, interagency, and multinational activities designed to exercise the defense of Canada and security in the region. This includes capability-building operations conducted over the course of a year in Canada’s northern and Arctic regions through training, developing partnerships, and improving the readiness of all participants.
Hoang is a medical officer specializing in endocrinology and is assigned to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. He is responsible for providing medical care during the operation, and supervising other medical staff and corpsmen while attached to Thomas Hudner.
“I deliver quality health care to our sailors so they can recover soon and accomplish their missions,” Hoang said.
Approximately 350 sailors assigned to USS Thomas Hudner will participate alongside U.S. Coast Guard, Canadian, French, and Danish allies to enhance their Arctic capabilities, and meet the requirements outlined in each nation’s respective defense policies.
“I enjoy having the opportunity to contribute and to learn, to share knowledge and skills and the opportunity to collaborate,” Hoang said.
Held annually since 2007, Operation Nanook-Tuugaalik has consisted of one or two major activities during August and September. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions, it will be a shorter deployment than in previous years, with no planned port visits or community relations activities.
According to Navy officials, maintaining maritime superiority is a vital part of a Navy that is present today and prepared for tomorrow. The impact affects Americans and their interests around the world, as more than 70 percent of the Earth is covered by water and 90 percent of all trade travels by sea.
The foundation of the Navy the nation needs includes a focus on warfighting, warfighters and the future of the fighting force.
“I am confident that we will maximize the Navy we have today while delivering the Navy that our nation will rely upon tomorrow,” said Adm. Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations. “We will do so with urgency. Our fleet will be a potent, formidable force that competes around the world every day, deterring those who would challenge us while reassuring our allies and partners.”
According to Hoang, the values required to succeed in the Navy are similar to those found in Silver Spring.
“I learned to work diligently, to do my best to help others and to treat everyone with respect, kindness and compassion,” Hoang said.
As a member of the U.S. Navy, Hoang, as well as other sailors, know they are a part of a service tradition providing unforgettable experiences through leadership development, world affairs and humanitarian assistance. Their efforts will have a lasting effect around the globe and for generations of sailors who will follow.
“It is an honor for me to serve in the Navy,” Hoang added. “I am fulfilling my job as a Naval physician, a medical educator and a medical officer in training the future generations of doctors to serve our military, and to deliver quality health care to our military members and their families.”