RIMPAC 2014: Aligning maritime forces

RIMPAC 2014

Forty-two ships and submarines representing 15 international partner nations steam in close formation during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2014. Twenty-two nations, more than 40 ships and six submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC exercise from June 26 to Aug. 1, in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. The world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2014 is the 24th exercise in the series that began in 1971. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Shannon Renfroe/Released.

 

Written by Petty Officer 3rd Class Manda Emery

During the Rim of the Pacific Exercise 2014, Coast Guard Cutter Waesche’s crewmembers worked hand-in-hand with Australia, Brunei, China, France, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, and the U.S. Navy in a multitude of exercises ranging from maritime interdiction, search and rescue and counter-piracy to tactical maneuvering, fueling and replenishments at sea, and a live-fire gunnery exercise.

In addition to those exercises, Waesche’s crew was able to observe the USS Sampson conduct a live-fire missile exercise in which the warship engaged an unmanned aerial target launched from a shore-based facility.

Days before the closing ceremonies, 42 warships from across the vast oceans of the world aligned together. Bridging the gap of thousands of miles down to approximately 500 yards, they steamed in formation off the coast of Hawaii in a photo exercise that signaled an end to five weeks of multi-national maritime work together.

MAS Success transfer to US Coast Guard Cutter Waesche

A helicopter crew from the Australian ship HMAS Success transfer pallets of goods to the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Waesche for replenishment at sea during Rim of the Pacific Exercise 2014. Twenty-two nations, 49 ships, six submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC exercise from June 26 to Aug. 1 in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. The world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2014 is the 24th exercise in the series that began in 1971. U.S Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Manda M. Emery/Released.

At the front of the formation, white in the sea of gray, the Waesche sailed between the Japan Navy warship JS Ise and the Royal Canada Navy warship HMCS Calgary, while the Japan Navy warship JS Kirishima followed astern. The photo exercise was one of the longer evolutions during RIMPAC, but its success is a testament to the multinational cooperation and effort Waesche and all the other participants in RIMPAC have put into making the exercises a success.

“RIMPAC has provided Waesche crewmembers with a unique team perspective,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Joey McDonald, a maritime enforcement specialist aboard Waesche. “We are working with diverse nations around the world to understand how each one of us operates and reacts to the dynamic maritime environment. These exercises help our services improve on each other’s ideas and practices. It improves fluidity during international response efforts and shows us how to share the workload with our international partners. The key take away from the joint exercises conducted is that we have just as much to learn from our partners as they do from us. We all have areas to improve on, but in working with each other we can overcome them.”

The world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea-lanes and security on the world’s oceans and ultimately demonstrating the importance of maritime interoperability and exhibiting capable, adaptive partnerships.

Twenty-two nations, more than 40 ships and six submarines, approximately 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participated in RIMPAC from June 26, to August 1, in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. RIMPAC 2014 is the 24th exercise in the series that began in 1971.

USCG Cutter Waesche refuels at sea

The Waesche refuels at sea with the Royal Australian Navy ship HMAS Success as part of Rim of the Pacific Exercise 2014. Twenty-two nations, 49 ships and six submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC from June 26 to August 1, in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. The world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2014 is the 24th exercise in the series that began in 1971. U.S Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Manda M. Emery/Released.

As RIMPAC concluded the temperament remained the same throughout. Many of the crewmembers agree; it’s a once in a lifetime experience.

“The experiences gained from RIMPAC are something I’ll always remember,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Courtney Campbell, an electronics technician aboard Waesche. “To have the opportunity to watch a missile launch, to interact with other nations face-to-face, and then to overcome language barriers and still complete missions together; it’s not something many people get to do and it’s amazing to be a part of.”

“I couldn’t be more proud of the work that Waesche and the other warships have been able to accomplish during the last five weeks,” stated Capt. John McKinley, commanding officer of Waesche who served as the commander of Combined Task Force 175. “This experience has been an event that each participant will remember for the rest of his or her life. The professionalism and pride that every crew has displayed are a testament to a global commitment toward cooperation and mission excellence in the maritime domain.”

 

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