Military Sealift Command Completes Support of RIMPAC 2018

Six Military Sealift Command ships have completed their support of the bi-annual, Rim of the Pacific 2018 exercise in and around the Hawaiian Islands.

From the start of RIMPAC on June 26 to the completion of the underway phase July 27, USNS Henry J. Kaiser (T-AO 187), USNS Rappahannock (T-AO 204), USNS Carl Brasher (T-AKE 7) and USNS Charles Drew (T-AKE 10) delivered the fuel to power the surface and aviation forces, as well as the food and that sustained the ships’ crews during the exercise.  The four Combat Logistics Force Ships delivered over 8 million gallons of diesel ship fuel, 4 million gallons of JP5 aviation fuel and 1,130  pallets of food and supplies during 101 replenishment-at-sea events.   This unprecedented level of at-sea support during this exercise represents the fruits of a year-long logistics planning and coordination effort between the Military Sealift Command Pacific Combat Logistics Office, (CLO) team, Military Sealift Command Office – Pearl Harbor, Fleet Logistics Center – Pearl Harbor, and the ships at sea.

180717-N-OH262-0717 PACIFIC OCEAN (July 17, 2018)—Mission critical equipment is delivered from the dry cargo ammunition ship USNS Carl Brashear (T-AKE 7) to the guided missile destroyer USS Preble (DDG 88) during an underway replenishment at sea, July 17. Both ships were at sea to participat in the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2018 exercise. (U.S. Navy photo by Bill Mesta/released)

Over a seven-day period, that began July 10, MSC fleet ocean tug USNS Sioux (T-ATF 171) delivered  two decommissioned Navy ships to the designated target area in preparation for sinking exercises (SINKEX); landing ship-tank Ex-Racine and the guided missile frigate Ex-McClusky.  The SINKEXs provided the U.S. Navy and participating allies and partners the opportunity to gain proficiency in tactics, targeting and live firing against surface targets, which enhances combat readiness of deployable units.

MSC hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) conducted a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) exercise.  The exercise marked the second time Mercy has participated in a HADR at RIMPAC. The HADR scenario featured the fictional nation of Griffon and the national disaster situation found in the aftermath of a 7.1 earthquake and a follow-on tsunami. Victims of the disaster were brought to a field treatment area for assessment and triage. Many of these patients were then transported to Mercy either by U.S. Coast Guard helicopter or by small boats from the Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf (WMSL 750) and Japanese Maritime Defense Force destroyer helicopter ship JS Isi (DDH 182). Once onboard, the military treatment facility (MTF) conducted assessment and treatment protocols that included chemical decontamination and orthopedic injuries.

Sailors assigned to Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19), decontaminate a patient in the chemical decontamination rooms before administering care during a search and rescue, and chemical decontamination exercise in support of Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC), July 11. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Harley K. Sarmiento)

MSC-assigned Navy Reservists made their mark as well.  Cargo Afloat Rig Teams aboard  Kaiser and Rappahannock provided additional manpower during underway replenishments.   Other Reservists, from Military Sealift Command Pacific and West Coast Expeditionary Port Units 114, 115, 116 and 117, and Strategic Sealift Unit 310, provided maritime logistics planning and shore support to Commander Task Group 173.1 as watch standers at the Pacific Warfighting Center in Pearl Harbor.   These Reservists provided comprehensive planning and coordination for all RASs, CONREPS and VERTREPS conducted during the exercise.  This included arranging berthing space for in port ships, loading of fuel and stores and coordinating rendezvous locations and times.

180717-N-OH262-0301 PACIFIC OCEAN (July 17, 2018)— The dry cargo ammunition ship USNS Carl Brashear (T-AKE 7) delivers mission critical equipment to the guided missile destroyers USS Preble (DDG 88) during an underway replenishment at sea, July 17. USNS Carl Brashear made the delivery to USS Preble as part of the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2018 exercise. (U.S. Navy photo by Bill Mesta/released)

Twenty-five nations, 46 surface ships, five submarines, 17 land forces, more than 200 aircraft, and 25,000 personnel will participate in the biennial RIMPAC exercise scheduled June 27 to Aug. 2.

This year’s exercise includes forces from Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tonga, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Vietnam.

As the world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity designed to foster and sustain cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s interconnected oceans. RIMPAC 2018 is the 26th exercise in the series that began in 1971.

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