News: US Coast Guard, Participating RIMPAC Nations Conduct Interdiction Drills at RIMPAC By U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 2rd Class Manda Emery
Story by Chief Warrant Officer Allyson Conroy
PACIFIC OCEAN – The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter (USCGC) Waesche (WMSL 751) conducted Maritime Interdiction Operation Exercises (MIOEX) with the People's Republic of China, Mexico and Brunei off the coast of Hawaii as part of the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2014.
During the first scenario Waesche was utilized as the boarding platform. PLA(N) Yueyang (FF 575) sent a boarding team to examine the ship and proceed through a simulated boarding which included checking documents, examining cargo, and conducting a safety sweep of outer areas of the ship.
“From the perspective of the task force commander, it is rewarding to see the units within the task force coming together to execute a safe and successful exercise,” said Capt. John McKinley, commanding officer of Waesche and commander of Task Force 175.
Mexico's ARM Revolucion (P 164) and Brunei's KDB Darussalam (OPV 06) and KDB Darulaman (OPV 08) executed similar scenarios, alternating between role playing as the boarding platform and sending boarding teams to the other vessels.
“It was a unique experience observing another country’s naval service practice a boarding aboard Waesche,” said Petty Officer 1st Class 1st Class Joey McDonald, a maritime enforcement specialist who participated in the scenario.
During the final week, scenarios became progressively more complex, culminating in multiple warships coordinating to board and inspect a target vessel.
“Each boarding provides an awesome opportunity to interact with the ships and sailors of the other participating nations,” stated Petty Officer 2nd Class Chad Brown, a gunner’s mate aboard the Waesche. “It’s a once in a lifetime experience that I will certainly remember forever.”
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. 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. RIMPAC 2014 is the 24th exercise in the series that began in 1971.
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