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    Sun Sets on RIMPAC SOCAL 2016

    RIMPAC SOCAL 2016

    Photo By Petty Officer 1st Class Stacy Atkins Ricks | 160711-N-IK388-183 PACIFIC OCEAN (July 11, 2016) (From left) Mine countermeasures...... read more read more

    CA, UNITED STATES

    08.04.2016

    Story by Molly Sonnier 

    Navy Public Affairs Support Element West

    SAN DIEGO– The Southern California portion of Rim of the Pacific 2016 concluded Aug. 4, after 35 days of training with six partner nations.

    Australia, Canada, Chile, Germany, Japan, Mexico and the United States participated in a series of complex exercises, including mine countermeasure operations, amphibious operations, explosive ordnance disposal, diving and salvage operations, and U.S. Marine-specific training, including non-combatant evacuation operations, combined-arms training and Marine Air-Ground Task Force operations. These unique training opportunities strengthened international maritime partnerships, enhanced interoperability and improved the readiness of partner nations for a wide range of potential operations.

    Throughout the exercise, coalition forces executed more than 2,000 training evolutions. This included 200 hours of Marine Mammal System operations, 34 helicopter cast and recovery operations, a disposal of 77 simulated mines and 110 unmanned autonomous underwater vehicle missions off the coast of Southern California in and around Naval Base Point Loma, Naval Base San Diego, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton and San Clemente Island.

    “This has been a very robust mine warfare operation,” said U.S. Navy Cmdr. David Burke, battle staff director for the Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center’s Command Task Force 177. “Freedom of the seas and waterways is critical for a nation’s economic productivity and sustainment. It is important to be able to open them up [sea lanes] in the event they’re closed as a result of a mine warfare threat.”

    Royal Canadian Navy Kingston-class coastal defense vessel Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship Yellowknife (MM 706) and Royal Canadian Navy Kingston-class coastal defense vessel Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship Saskatoon (MM 709) joined amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52), littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) and mine countermeasures ship USS Champion (MCM 4) to train in a realistic, multinational operating environment.

    "The most important thing that the Royal Canadian Navy gained from having both the Saskatoon and Yellowknife here in San Diego was the integration with one of our biggest partners, the United States Navy," said Royal Canadian Navy Lt. Cmdr. Todd Bacon, commanding officer of HMCS Saskatoon. "It's most important that we continue the practice of complete integration between the U.S., Royal Canadian Navy, Mexican navy and our other international partners. Because of these partnerships, we can integrate different teams aboard different vessels and are able to facilitate additional capabilities."

    During the exercise, Pearl Harbor hosted members of the Royal Canadian Air Force, Chilean army, Mexican marines, Royal Australian Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force. Pearl Harbor’s crew supported more than 350 flight operations, resulting in the certification of the Royal Canadian Air Force’s CH-146 Griffon and CH-147 Chinook helicopters to land aboard U.S. amphibious dock landing ships, worked with Mexican marines during tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel exercises, and performed underwater surveillance exercises with the Royal Australian Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.

    "Participating in RIMPAC SOCAL was a great experience for the Sailors aboard the Pearl Harbor," said U.S. Navy Cmdr. Judd Krier, Pearl Harbor's commanding officer. "The opportunity to work with partner-nation navies allowed us to broaden our understanding of the benefits of our friendship and partnership."

    At Camp Pendleton, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit worked with servicemembers from Canada, Chile and Mexico and practiced a wide range of technical skillsets. Scenarios tested air, ground and sea-based tactical operations to include mechanized assaults and raids, non-combatant evacuation operations, high-altitude-low-oxygen jumps, breach-and-clearing tactics, military operations in urban terrain, assault amphibious vehicle training, reconnaissance skill sets and close-air support. The evolutions were designed to enhance cooperation between partner nations and improve individual warfighting competencies.

    "We demonstrated that credible, ready maritime partners can assist each other in preserving peace and preventing conflict," said U.S. Marine Col. J.R. Clearfield, 15th MEU commanding officer. “We proved this during the exercise by demonstrating a wide range of capabilities and the inherent flexibility of maritime forces. We better understand how to respond to crises as part of a joint or combined effort. It is what makes training with partner nations in the global maritime environment so important."

    Twenty-six nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC from June 30 to Aug. 4, 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 2016 is the 25th exercise in the series that began in 1971.

    For more information on RIMPAC 2016, visit www.dvidshub.net/feature/RIMPAC.

    For more information on U.S. Third Fleet, visit www.c3f.navy.mil.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 08.04.2016
    Date Posted: 08.04.2016 13:45
    Story ID: 206088
    Location: CA, US

    Web Views: 400
    Downloads: 3

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