NIMITZ JOINS RIMPAC
By MCSN Jess Lewis
Every two years since 1971, allied nations from around have the globe come together to participate in the world’s largest international maritime exercise, known as Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC).
The theme for this year’s RIMPAC is “Capable, Adaptive, Partners.”
Twenty-two nations, a variety of ships, submarines and aircraft along with more than 25,000 personnel will participate in this year’s RIMPAC.
“For [Operations Department], RIMPAC gives us the opportunity to apply what we’ve been practicing,” said Cryptologic Technician Technical 1st Class (SW/IDW) Charles Leigh. “It’s the first major exercise for Ops since we’ve been out of the [shipyards].”
Vice Adm. Gerald Beaman, commander of the U.S. Third Fleet (C3F) is the slated leader of RIMPAC 2012. However, for the first time, the other sections of the exercise will be led by non-U.S. officers. The Maritime Component and Brig is scheduled to be led by Commodore Stuart Mayer of the Royal Australian Navy and the Air Component is scheduled to be led by Gen. Michael Hood of the Royal Canadian Air Force. The Royal Canadian Navy and Japan Maritime Self Defense Force are also key members in leading various exercises through the Combined Task Force (CTF).
“With previous RIMPACs, Sailors were selected by their chain of command to go to other ships from other countries,” said Leigh. “It’s a great opportunity for these Sailors to see how other nations do their job in comparison to how the job is done on our ship.”
Disaster relief, maritime security operations, sea control, complex war fighting, amphibious operations, counter-piracy, mine clearance operations, explosive ordnance disposal and dive and salvage operations as well as gunnery, missile, anti-submarine and air defense exercises are just a few exercises set to take place during RIMPAC 2012.
“Doing these kinds of international exercises with other countries helps strengthen relations,” said Chief Operations Specialist (SW/AW) Robert Pereira. “From the OS stand point, we assist the Officer of the Deck (OOD) for ship’s stationing and battle formations.”
In order to position the ships, a lot of communication takes place between the various countries. This communication is essential for exercises to be executed properly and also for photo opportunities to be taken advantage of.
“We work with [Destroyer Squadron (DESRON)] 23 to coordinate ship’s placement,” said Pereira. “We have to make sure the ships from the Navies are positioned at precise placements in the water.”
Hosted by the U.S. Pacific Fleet, RIMPAC 2012 is slated for June 29 to August 3.