“Faces of the Fleet” is a collection of images of Sailors serving our country in the greatest and most technologically advanced Navy in the world. These fine men and women are leading from the deck plates and completing missions around the globe. This is your fleet and these are your Sailors! GO NAVY!
Sailors proudly serve around the world in a variety of ways. Tell us which photo grabs your interest.
We are welcoming visiting ships and participants from 26 nations who are bringing 25,000 personnel to Hawaii – to the best homeport and duty station in the world. What better place to come together in peace to build cooperation than Pearl Harbor!
In 2002 I participated in RIMPAC here as executive officer aboard USS Port Royal (CG 73). It was exhilarating, challenging and extremely rewarding, and it happened at a historic time for our Navy and nation: one year after 9/11.
Lessons I learned and friendships I forged 16 years ago during RIMPAC 2002 continue to guide me today. At each RIMPAC our Navy trains with friends, partners and colleagues to be capable, adaptive, innovative and ready.
From Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, RIMPAC participants deploy to train at Pacific Missile Range Facility, Barking Sands, and in and around the Hawaiian Islands. The people of Hawaii understand and support our need for realistic training with our partners.
RIMPAC offers relevant and realistic training that fosters and sustains cooperative relationships. During RIMPAC in 2002 I learned quickly that when we understand each other we can prevent miscalculations. We can build trust. We can preserve peace and prevent conflict.
History shows us that our former adversaries can become steadfast friends. Japan, Germany and Vietnam are among the participants in RIMPAC 2018.
This past Tuesday our shipmate, retired Chief Boatswain’s Mate Ray Emory, a Pearl Harbor Survivor, visited the Pearl Harbor waterfront to see once again where his ship, USS Honolulu, was berthed Dec. 7, 1941, the day Oahu was attacked.
Chief Emory fought back that day, manning his machinegun, taking on enemy planes. He continued to fight on throughout the War in the Pacific. He and his buddies, with help from the home front, helped create an unprecedented era of peace, stability and prosperity. Victory at the end of World War II was Ray’s finest hour.
Ray, a long-time resident of Hawaii, is leaving Hawaii for the mainland next week – two days before the start of RIMPAC. He said it was his last time to visit Pearl Harbor.
It was my honor to be there to shake his hand and thank him for his service.
Sailors aboard USS O’Kane, berthed nearby, and Sailors from throughout our waterfront, who are getting ready for next week’s exercise, came to salute and pay tribute to Ray. They manned the rails, formed an honor cordon, saluted, and shouted “hip, hip, hooray” to this American hero.
When the call came in 1941, Ray Emory and hundreds of thousands of other young Americans responded. They proved they were capable, adaptive, innovative and ready. Working with Allies and partners they fought to create a better world for our grandparents, parents, ourselves and our families.
We do not take their sacrifice and commitment for granted. We remember.
At this moment in history, in this sacred location, let us – each of us – remember the heroes who forged the future. Let us dedicate ourselves to having another exciting, safe and rewarding RIMPAC this summer. Let us commit to superior training, cooperation and readiness, building partnerships, and strengthening friendships.
Let this RIMPAC be our finest hour in 2018.
Editor’s note: Pearl Harbor is where ships from 26 nations are gathering to participate soon in the Rim of the Pacific Exercise. Most of the exercise will occur in and around the Hawaiian Islands.
Amphibious warfare is a complex set of capabilities shared between the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps that projects an adaptable and versatile force from the sea. During every Rim of the Pacific exercise, these capabilities are practiced and then tested with our partners throughout the Pacific. RIMPAC 2016 has been no exception. This year, we have not only practiced and honed our skills with our partners, but also increased amphibious interoperability through a series of landing craft exchanges during real-world scenarios.
PACIFIC OCEAN (July 21, 2016) Fleet replenishment oiler USNS Rappahannock (T-AO 204), Royal Australian Navy Canberra-class amphibious ship HMAS Canberra (L02) and amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) conduct and underway replenishment at Rim of the Pacific 2016 (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joseph M. Buliavac/Released)
Typically, an amphibious squadron will be responsible for three ships that make up an amphibious ready group. These three ships –normally an amphibious assault ship, dock landing ship and amphibious transport dock – each bring unique capabilities that complement each other and also provide flexibility in case we need to separate the amphibious ready group ships for special mission requirements. During RIMPAC, we not only are conducting the movement, logistics and daily operations of the U.S. ships, USS America (LHA 6) and USS San Diego (LPD 22), but the third ship of the amphibious ready group includes the Royal Australian Navy’s HMAS Canberra (LHD 02). These three ships operate as a combined task group and are able to project forces ashore, combining complex aviation and surface ship-to-shore operations. Within these operations, surface craft from San Diego and aircraft from America have operated on board Canberra, while Canberra’s helicopters and boats have operated aboard San Diego and America.
PACIFIC OCEAN (July 19, 2016) A Royal Australian Navy LHD Landing Craft embarks in the well deck of amphibious transport dock ship USS San Diego (LPD 22) during Rim of the Pacific 2016. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joseph M. Buliavac/Released)
The unique interoperability events between San Diego and Canberra have been a highlight of the exercise. Navy landing craft air cushions and Marine Corps amphibious assault vehicles have operated flawlessly from the Canberra’s well deck, while Australia’s assault boats entered and exited San Diego’s well deck like clockwork. All of these operations occurred while MV-22 Ospreys, CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters and MH-60 Sea Hawk helicopters conducted their first landings aboard Canberra. This proof of interoperability expands both the United States’ and Australia’s capabilities, which opens several new opportunities to deter simulated threats and adversaries during the “War At Sea” exercise.
RIMPAC 2016 brings 26 nations together to train in a fast-paced maritime environment and provides exceptional training for U.S. and partner forces. Whether it’s Marines going ashore or destroyers working alongside amphibious ships, RIMPAC collectively demonstrates the importance of adapting to an evolving environment, the increased capability amphibious forces bring to that environment, and how to best capitalize on the resources provided by the amphibious force. It has been an exceptional experience working with the many nations of RIMPAC. It is a unique opportunity to significantly expand our interoperability and thus our capability in amphibious warfare.
Editor’s note: For more information on RIMPAC 2016, visit the following links:
As the eyes of the world focus on Rim of the Pacific 2016, observers see the impressive images and videos coming out of the multinational exercise that brings together ships, submarines, aircraft and personnel from the 26 participating nations in a collaborative effort to strengthen relationships and improve interoperability in the maritime environment. What the world doesn’t see, however, is the planning and behind-the-scenes efforts that drive this highly-complex exercise.
PACIFIC OCEAN (July 18, 2016) The HMAS Ballarat (FFH 155), USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), CNS Cochrane (FF 05) INS Satpura (F48), HMCS Calgary (FFH 335), and USS Shoup (DDG 35) steam in formation in preparation for a live fire exercise during Rim of the Pacific 2016. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Holly L. Herline)
I serve as the director of the RIMPAC Combined Exercise Control Group, a multinational group of 413 personnel from seven nation who work mostly behind the scenes in a very complex environment. Planning for the events that are being executed today began shortly after RIMPAC 2014 ended. Over the past two years, members of the Combined Exercise Control Group and representatives from each nation developed the scenario and created the schedule of events that is providing a realistic, impactful training experience for all of our multinational participants today.
The complexity of RIMPAC is truly astounding. This year, we have 45 ships, five submarines, 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel from 26 nations. Each country has its own training objectives; RIMPAC offers an incredible venue to achieve those goals as well as the unique opportunity to work in a huge, multinational maritime force. Approximately 4,300 events have been meticulously planned to provide specific training scenarios for each participants. During RIMPAC, the Combined Exercise Control Group has the responsibility to manage and execute these events across all ranges of the exercise.
JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM (July 19, 2016) Military members from Chile, Australia, Japan and Singapore participate in exercise planning at the Pacific Warfighting Center on Ford Island during Rim of the Pacific 2016. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Katarzyna Kobiljak)
As you can imagine, in order to provide realistic, real-world training for our participants, the infrastructure is complex and the scheduling and placement of assets is absolutely critical. For example, in order to conduct a combined anti-submarine warfare exercise (a very popular event), the participating ships, aircraft and submarines must be at a specific location at a specific time so they can detect each other and engage accordingly. It is the Combined Exercise Control Group that maintains the schedule and manages the movement of assets so the participants are where they are supposed to be at the time they’re supposed to be there. But let me be clear, the Combined Exercise Control Group doesn’t do the anti-submarine warfare exercise, the combined forces do that! We just introduce the teams to each other.
So far, I’ve described RIMPAC as a bunch of unconnected exercises, a schedule of events managed by the Combined Exercise Control Group. Fun, maybe challenging even, like batting practice before a baseball game. But at some point, you want to “play ball!” That’s where our white cell comes into play, slowly building a road to crisis in an imaginary group of islands based roughly on the Hawaiian Islands. This year, our imaginary islands are called the Coaster Islands and they are rife with political, economic and ultimately military conflict. The RIMPAC schedule of events phase occurs inside that scenario, which culminates with a massive show of force – stay tuned for a very impressive formation photo – as the RIMPAC task force arrives in the joint operational area.
PACIFIC OCEAN (July 16, 2016) French, German, Canadian and American sailors pose for a group shop after conducting a visit, boarding, search and seizure exercise aboard French Navy Floreal-class frigate Prairial (F731), during Rim of the Pacific 2016. (Photo courtesy French navy)
Then, everything gets more exciting when the opposing forces enter the exercise. We use our opposing forces ships, submarines and air assets in an attempt to prevent RIMPAC forces from achieving their goals. While the schedule of events phase is highly-scripted, the “free play” phase at the end of RIMPAC creates a more reactionary environment and drives a more real-world response to real-time exercise events.
As you can see, from planning through execution, the Combined Exercise Control Group plays a crucial role in the RIMPAC exercise. In fact, you could say that without the control group, there would be no RIMPAC.
Royal Australian Air Force Flight Lt. Thomas Van Dantzig
By Flight Lt. Tom van Dantzig
Aviation Medical Officer, Royal Australian Air Force
The Global Health Engagement Course at Rim of the Pacific 2016 in Hawaii was a relaxed introduction to how the military conducts humanitarian aid and disaster relief in the 21st century. It involved military personnel from China, South Korea, the U.S., Australia and Canada and it was a fun way to share experiences and common obstacles that militaries face when conducting humanitarian operations in the Pacific theatre. It was especially valuable because we rarely get the opportunity to talk face-to-face with our counterparts from China and South Korea. It was a relief to hear that they experience the same problems that we encounter when conducting humanitarian operations in the Pacific.
The first issue that surfaced during our multinational discussions at the symposium (a big thank you to the skilled interpreters who facilitated these discussions) was expectation management –both of our own medical teams and those of the host nation population. China and the U.S. both have dedicated hospital ships that are impressive and very capable medical units that include several operating rooms, intensive care units, medical imaging and hundreds of hospital beds onboard. The ships have a vast array of medical specialties and helicopters to transport patients and personnel to and from the ship. In this way, when these ships enter port in a third world country, they can set expectations for a very high level of care for the host nation population.
FORD ISLAND, Hawaii (July13, 2016) Japan Maritime Self Defense Force and U.S. military and civilian personnel treat simulated patients during a mass casualty during Rim of the Pacific 2016. (Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force photo by Satoru Honma /Released)
Similarly, the ship’s medical professionals are keen to provide care to a needy population that may not otherwise benefit from world-class healthcare. Problems arise when patients from the host nation require complex management of their conditions or long-term follow up by specialist teams. For example, patients may receive their complex operation onboard the hospital ship, but then require intensive monitoring and several months of follow up care, which cannot be provided by a ship that is only in port temporarily – for example, one month’s duration. Thus, the ship may elect not to perform complex operations – despite having this capability – because of the difficulties in maintaining continuity of care for these patients in the medium- to long-term future. This can cause frustration for both host nation and visiting medical specialists alike if expectations are not clearly formed from the outset. Establishing dialogue early in the planning phase of these operations, 12-18 months prior to commencement of humanitarian operations, is essential to clarifying expectations to prevent future disappointment and dissatisfaction with the medical care provided by visiting nations.
JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM (July 11, 2016) Military members from China, Canada and civilians share medical experiences during a group activity during Fundamentals of Global Health Engagement Course at Makalapa Clinic during Rim of the Pacific 2016. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Katarzyna Kobiljak)
The second issue that arose during our discussions was interoperability. Being able to operate with other national militaries and government and non-government organisations in a humanitarian and disaster relief operation is paramount for the success of the program. The course highlighted the significance of all groups (government and non-government) uniting under a common leader, for example, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs during a humanitarian and disaster relief operation for the purpose of service coordination and allocation of tasks and assets to achieve mission objectives. This is hugely important given the many players and chaotic environment of humanitarian and disaster relief operations.
I would like to thank the U.S. Navy’s Center for Global Health Engagement for organizing this course and for providing the platform for several nations to come together and meet each other face-to-face to discuss how best we can work together to achieve our common objectives in providing the best healthcare possible in humanitarian and disaster relief operations around the Pacific.
Editor’s note: For more information on RIMPAC 2016, visit the following links:
Right now your Navy is 100 percent on watch around the globe helping to preserve the American way of life. Whether it be operating and training off the coast of Spain or forward deployed to the Arabian Gulf, the flexibility and presence provided by our U.S. naval forces provides national leaders with great options for protecting and maintaining our national security and interests around the world. The imagery below highlights the Navy’s ability to provide those options by operating forward.
DA NANG, Vietnam: Hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) sits anchored off the coast of Da Nang. (Royal Australian Air Force photo by Air Force Imagery Specialist CPL David Cotton/ Released)
PACIFIC OCEAN: An F/A-18 Super Hornet flies over USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) during Rim of the Pacific. Twenty-six nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC. The worlds 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. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Andre T. Richard/ Released)
INDIAN OCEAN: An MH-60R Seahawk, attached to the “Warbirds” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 49, flies over the guided-missile destroyers USS Spruance (DDG 111) and USS Momsen (DDG 92). (U.S. Navy photo by Naval Aircrewman 2nd Class Alex Hewette/Released)
BUSAN, Republic of Korea: Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Ohio (SSGN 726) arrives at the Republic of Korea (ROK) Fleet base in Busan for a regular port visit during a routine deployment to the Western Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Wesley J. Breedlove/Released)
PACIFIC OCEAN: USS America (LHA 6) underway in the waters near the Hawaiian Islands as part of Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2016 – the world’s largest multi-national maritime exercise. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Nathan Laird/Released)
SUEZ CANAL: The aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), followed by the fast combat support ship USNS Arctic (T-AOE 8) and the guided-missile destroyer USS Nitze (DDG 94), pass under the Freedom Bridge while transiting the Suez Canal. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class J. Alexander Delgado/Released)
PACIFIC OCEAN: A standard missile 2 is launched from the vertical launching system on board the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Shoup (DDG 86) as part of a live fire exercise. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Holly L. Herline)
INDIAN OCEAN: The guided-missile destroyer USS Momsen (DDG 92) steams through the Indian Ocean. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jay C. Pugh/Released)
GAETA, Italy: Sailors heave mooring lines aboard USS Porter (DDG 78) as the ship arrives in Gaeta, Italy for a scheduled port visit. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Robert S. Price/Released)
MEDITERRANEAN SEA: Quartermaster Seaman James Keller checks weather information during a nighttime transit aboard the amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio (LPD 17). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Adam Austin / Released)
PACIFIC OCEAN: Sailors aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59) fire an RGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missile during an international sinking exercise, or SINKEX, for Rim of the Pacific 2016. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jason Noble/Released)
INDIAN OCEAN: Two MH-60R Seahawks, attached to the “Warbirds” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 49, fly in formation over the guided-missile destroyer USS Spruance (DDG 111). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jay C. Pugh/Released)
PACIFIC OCEAN: Sailors aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53) fire the ship’s close-in weapons system while conducting a live-fire exercise during RIMPAC 2016. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ryan J. Batchelder/Released)
ARABIAN GULF: Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Trevor Ellam signals to the fleet replenishment oiler USNS Pecos (T-AO 197) from the guided-missile destroyer USS Stout (DDG 55) during a replenishment-at-sea. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Bill Dodge/Released)
INDIAN OCEAN: An MH-60R Seahawk, attached to the “Warbirds” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 49, flies toward the guided-missile destroyer USS Spruance (DDG 111). (U.S. Navy photo by Naval Aircrewman 2nd Class Alex Hewette/Released)
YOUR Navy Operating Forward! Tell us which photo best shows it.
This year marks the 25th iteration of RIMPAC, and I have to admit, I’m really excited to be this year’s combined forces air component commander. My job here is to oversee the air operations for the entire exercise, for which I have a team of about 200 personnel in the Combined Air Operations Centre. Working in such an environment gives us the chance to advance a mutual understanding of what we’re all doing and how we can work together to achieve our common goals.
I will admit, bringing together 200 aircraft is a big feat, but we’re up for the challenge! Building a plan that determines what all of the aircraft will be doing can be tricky, but when we work together, we can achieve anything. Over 200 people work collaboratively in the Combined Air Operations Centre to coordinate, plan and monitor the missions to ensure we operate safely and effectively in support of the exercise. For some of my staff, RIMPAC is their first opportunity to work within a multinational Combined Air Operations Centre. This exercise is an incredible opportunity for these folks to experience what it’s like to work with, synchronize and coordinate air operations on a large-scale and it’s really similar to the environment they would find themselves in if deployed to support expeditionary operations.
JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM (July 11, 2016) A Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 Hornet flies alongside a KC-135 Stratotanker flown by a crew from the 465th Air Refueling Squadron, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., in support of Rim of the Pacific 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Grady Epperly)
For Canada, training exercises like RIMPAC are crucial to the development of the men and women of the Royal Canadian Air Force. It’s important that the Royal Canadian Air Force be able to generate and maintain a combat capable, multi-role air force, and RIMPAC is invaluable for achieving that as it affords us the opportunity to maintain a high level of readiness by participating in real-life scenarios with allied nations. While the focus here is mainly on the maritime domain, what we’re really doing is learning about cooperation between nations, which means if we need to work together in a time of crisis, like a tsunami in Japan, or a typhoon hitting the coast of Asia, we’ll be ready to hit the ground running because we’ll already know how to work together. This is really significant because rarely do we get the chance to work with so many nations in an environment like this. We get to participate in real-life scenarios on a massive scale and that gives us an awesome opportunity to learn from each other and our allies.
JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM (July 11, 2016) A KC-135 crew from the 465th Air Refueling Squadron at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., completes an aerial refueling of a Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 Hornet in support of Rim of the Pacific 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Grady Epperly)
RIMPAC 2016, and my position here, has given me the invaluable opportunity to impress upon people that we are here to work together – regardless of rank – and achieve a mutual understanding of what it means to function as one team. Taking the time to learn from other countries and being open to new ways of working together is critical, and that’s why I think RIMPAC is such an incredible environment – we come together as soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen, and work as one coalition, side-by-side.
JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM (July 11, 2016) Lt Col. Ken Humphrey, a pilot with the 465th Air Refueling Squadron, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., turns a KC-135 while on approach to Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, in support of Rim of the Pacific 2016. Humphrey and his crew fly and operate KC-135s out of the 507th Air Refueling Wing at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. The 507th ARW is the largest Reserve flying unit in the state of Oklahoma. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Grady Epperly)
When I look around at everyone doing such great work in the Combined Air Operations Centre, I feel lucky to be heading a team of such professional and skilled personnel; I hope they’re all making the most of every moment. I try to pass on my knowledge and experiences to my staff because it’s important to me they have successful careers – seeing staff grow every day makes me proud and confident that each of our armed forces are in good hands with our leaders of tomorrow.
One thing I’ve learned from working in a coalition is the importance of good leadership, and I hope to pass that on to those working to support the mission here. I make every effort to lead through motivation and confidence. I believe being a good leader requires a balance of self-confidence and humility and it’s imperative you believe in your own abilities – once you do, you will lead well. Leadership also requires understanding that those around you are your most valuable asset, and if you trust and empower your subordinates, one day they too will be great leaders.
I reflect upon all the airmen and airwomen that came before me and the Royal Canadian Air Force’s deeply rooted tradition, heritage and history. We have incredible capabilities and it takes a lot of training to make sure we are deployment-ready. When we train our people well, we reap the benefits, and that’s exactly what we’re doing here. Nearly every day, I have valuable opportunities to exchange knowledge with leaders from other nations participating in RIMPAC, and the best part is that we are all learning new ways to approach our mission more effectively. The theme of this year’s RIMPAC is Capable, Adaptive, Partners, and collaborating with other allied nations and creating partnerships and mutual understanding is imperative for Canada’s future.
Editor’s note: For more information on RIMPAC 2016, visit the following links:
The sun crests the horizon of the Pacific Ocean and fills the bridge of your warship with warm morning light. Salt on the reinforced glass window you are looking through diffuses the light, causing it to jump and play over the faces of the sailors standing behind you. Looking from the bridge-wing, past the bow of the ship, you see 20 warships from a myriad of nations fanned out in formation, all steaming under orders to engage an enemy that uses ships, submarines, aircraft and tactics similar to your own.
The call comes in from your Operations Team that there is an inbound enemy torpedo…
Rear Adm. Scott Bishop, RIMPAC Deputy Commander Combined Task Force (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of MCpl Mathieu Gaudreault, Canadian Forces Combat Camera)
I have been that young naval officer standing watch on the bridge of a Canadian warship. This is the sort of experience that will stay with you for life; it sticks with you and helps shapes how you think and learn throughout your career.
RIMPAC is an exceptional exercise. One of the key elements that sets RIMPAC apart from other multinational exercises is its size. This is just such a huge exercise. We are talking about 26 countries, 45 warships, five submarines, more than 200 combat aircraft and 25,000 people. You don’t get an exercise of this magnitude very often.
For RIMPAC 2016, I have the honour to have been appointed deputy commander of the Combined Task Force. I work for Vice Admiral Nora Tyson. It’s a really exciting job: I essentially run the day-to-day operation of the entire exercise. Of course, I get a lot of help from U.S., Australian, New Zealand, and Japanese flag officers, as well as personnel from across the rest of the nations participating in RIMPAC. This will be a learning experience for me as well. Just like that young officer on the bridge, I am going to get to do many things that I don’t get to practice very often. It is going to be a great experience.
This is the 25th time Canada has participated in RIMPAC. In fact, you could say we are charter-members because we have participated in RIMPAC since the first one in 1971 when it was just five nations: Australia, Canada New Zealand, United Kingdom and the U.S. For me, this is the sixth time I’ve been a part of RIMPAC.
PACIFIC OCEAN (July 16, 2016)– French, German, Canadian and American sailors pose for a group shop after conducting a visit, boarding, search and seizure exercise aboard French Navy Floreal-class frigate Prairial (F731) during Rim of the Pacific 2016. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of the French navy)
RIMPAC gets bigger and better all the time and Canada’s leadership role has grown too. This year, we have some Canadian officers in key command positions. Brigadier-General Blaise Frawley is serving as the coalition air component commander; he runs the entire air war, including all of the 200 combat aircraft. We also have Navy Captain Jason Boyd, who is the sea-combat commander, and he’s directing the naval warfare for an entire aircraft carrier strike group. These are really incredible leadership positions Canada has in RIMPAC, and those officers are going to learn a tremendous amount.
RIMPAC provides an opportunity for Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships (HMCS) Calgary and Vancouver to practice operations across the full spectrum of conflict with other nations from search and rescue, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions, all the way up to joint and combined missile and torpedo firings – some of which will be conducted in very challenging tactical scenarios. These training events will push the ships and their warfare teams to practice very specialized skills that they rarely get to do at this level. In fact, there are many training goals at RIMPAC, from sailors and aircrew achieving personal qualifications, to teams working together in order to achieve team-level qualifications.
CAMP PENDLETON, California (July 16, 2016) Canadian Army Soldiers from 2nd Bataillon Royal 2nd Régiment, use a U.S. Marine Corps Assault Amphibious Vehicle to conduct section attacks training with live ammunition during Rim of the Pacific. (Canadian Forces Combat Camera photo by Sgt Marc-André Gaudreault/Released)
Finally, the Royal Canadian Navy has a lot of new procedures and drills that we will be practicing on the exercise – some of which are experimental and include the testing of new technology. Anytime you get an opportunity like RIMPAC to work on sophisticated practice ranges with the latest testing and evaluation equipment, you get excited. This is a great opportunity to test new things.
This truly is an exceptional exercise and, ultimately, every Canadian Armed Forces member deployed to RIMPAC will come out of the exercise at a level of readiness that is far, far higher than when they started. I encourage each person involved in RIMPAC to take every opportunity to absorb as many experiences as they can while they are here.
Ready Aye Ready
Editor’s note: For more information on RIMPAC 2016, visit the following links:
By Acting Sub-Lieutenant Jérémie Fraser,
Canadian exchange officer sailing onboard USS San Diego (LPD 22) for RIMPAC 2016
Acting Sub-Lieutenant Jérémie Fraser, Canadian exchange officer sailing onboard USS San Diego (LPD 22) for RIMPAC 2016. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)
After spending a dozen days on the beautiful island of Oahu, I am now observing the immense preparations required for the departure of the ship. USS San Diego (LPD 22) is now full of U.S. Marines and their equipment, ready to begin exercise Rim of the Pacific. I am looking forward to seeing how the Marines work and perhaps I may even participate in some of their training.
The last few days have been full of different social activities, with the objective of meeting fellow sailors and officers from navies from around the world. HMCS Calgary (FFH 335) and HMCS Vancouver (FFH 331) hosted an excellent reception to celebrate Canada Day. Everyone I have met has had only positive things to say about Canadian hospitality.
It is important to recognize our American hosts as well. My colleagues and I have been very well-received by the crew of the San Diego. They include us in most activities, of which they are quite rewarding and exciting.
PEARL HARBOR (June 28, 2016) Sailors man the rails on the flight deck as amphibious transport dock ship USS San Diego (LPD 22) arrives at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam to make preparations for Rim of the Pacific 2016. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joseph M. Buliavac/Released)
My primary objective of this exchange is to gain experience. I will begin my training to be a maritime surface and sub-surface officer soon upon my return to Canada. As such, I have ample opportunity to review the basic naval knowledge, such as the Rules of the Road, flags and more. Time spent on the bridge of the San Diego has also given me the opportunity to learn about the different systems used to navigate a warship. I hope I will not be totally lost when I begin my training!
The training for surface warfare officer in the U.S. Navy, the equivalent of our maritime surface and sub-surface officer, is different compared to how it is done in the Royal Canadian Navy. Canadians undertake an intensive, year-long course before becoming an officer of the watch, while Americans have a more on-the-job approach. This unique environment onboard a U.S. warship is very advantageous for a young junior officer in my position.
Editor’s notes: For more information on RIMPAC 2016, visit the following links:
Amphibious warfighting is ever-evolving and today’s Navy and Marine Corps team is more versatile and adaptable than ever before. This year, the America-class amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) proudly serves as the amphibious task force command and control platform during the 2016 Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC).
PACIFIC OCEAN (June 22, 2016) The amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) performs flight operations while underway to Rim of the Pacific 2016. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Demetrius Kennon/Released)
Embarked flag staffs from the Royal New Zealand Navy and Expeditionary Strike Group 3 will join America’s crew alongside over 800 U.S. Marines from 3d Marine Regiment. These Marines make up the Provisional Marine Expeditionary Brigade-Hawaii for the exercise and are joined by Marines, Soldiers and Sailors from Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Republic of Korea and Tonga. United States rotary wing and tilt-rotor Navy and Marine Corps aircraft, as well as multiple aircraft from other RIMPAC participant nations, will operate with USS America during the exercise to improve interoperability while honing the skills needed during amphibious operations.
USS America is capable of supporting a wide range of Navy/Marine missions across the spectrum of conflict, from peacetime operations like humanitarian assistance/disaster relief, defense support of civil authorities and theater security cooperation; to non-combatant evacuation operations; to full combat operations in support of Marine landing forces. In addition to this inherent versatility, USS America is well suited as a command and control platform at the center of an amphibious readiness group.
PACIFIC OCEAN (April 27, 2015) An MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 163 lands on the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) during deck landing qualifications at sunset. America is the first ship of its class and optimized for Marine Corps aviation. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Chief Warrant Officer 4 Shane Duhe/Released)
An aviation-centric platform, USS America truly provides unmatched flexibility in supporting the Marine Corps’ current and future fleet aircraft and was designed with enhanced aviation capabilities in mind to optimally sustain and support the Marine’s newest aircraft — the MV-22 Osprey and the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter — during extended global deployments. For example, our hangar bay is about 40 percent larger than past similar platforms and includes a second high-bay hangar crane area to improve aviation maintenance capabilities. USS America also carries more aviation fuel and possesses more space for aviation repair activities. In addition to supporting the MV-22 and F-35B, we can support a wide range of Marine aircraft such as the AV-8B Harrier II, CH-53D/E Sea Stallion, UH-1N Iroquois and AH-1W Super Cobra, as well as Navy helicopters such as the MH-60S. For RIMPAC, USS America is also embarking MH-60R helicopters that will participate in both anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare training with participating nations.
During RIMPAC, our blue-green force will engage in realistic and relevant training to strengthen our own and our partners’ abilities to communicate and conduct complex maritime operations safely, efficiently and effectively. The embarked Marine forces will learn more about ship-to-shore movements and eventually launch into the U.S. Army’s Pohakuloa Training Area via Marine Corps aircraft, assault amphibious vehicles and landing craft air cushions for combined arms training and live fire ashore. All of this training and planning from sea to shore will culminate in a final training event, including an amphibious assault beach landing.
USS America looks forward to strengthening the bonds of understanding, friendship and teamwork with the many nations contributing to this year’s RIMPAC. We are excited to have the opportunity to improve interoperability with not only our Marine counterparts but with all countries involved in this diverse and intricate exercise.
Editor’s notes: For more information on RIMPAC 2016, visit the following links: