Pearl Harbor, Hawaii – Divers and boat operators from the US Coast Guard and the US Army collaborate with divers from the Republic of Korea Navy and the Australian Deployable Geospatial Survey Team to create a simulated storm water post as part of the Rim to assess and clear the hazards below. Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022.
The exercise is the first time the US Coast Guard has collaborated with international partners, as well as the first RIMPAC humanitarian aid and disaster relief exercise led by the US Coast Guard.
“Building relationships improves interchangeability, which is everything from disaster relief and addressing underwater hazards. This week shows why,” said Coast Guard Chief Warrant Officer Brian Corte, Pacific Dive Force The manager said. “We used an Australian sonar system deployed on a US Coast Guard boat to scan the port, and then remove underwater hazards with a team of divers from the US and the Republic of Korea. If a natural disaster strikes anywhere in the Pacific, there is a real possibility that teams here today will be working shoulder to shoulder to save lives and provide relief.”
The exercise tested multiple capabilities in addressing underwater threats, a crucial step in disaster response as most of the relief supplies, especially to the island nations, are brought by ship.
A survey team from the Royal Australian Navy deployed on a boat from the US Coast Guard Maritime Safety and Security Unit Honolulu to conduct an underwater survey for subsurface hazards.
Aerographers on the US Navy Fleet Survey Team also deployed an autonomous unmanned underwater vehicle, the IVER 3-580, in its first application as a disaster response platform.
Divers from the US Coast Guard Pacific Dive Locker, the US Army 7th Engineer Dive Unit and the Republic of Korea Navy conducted a rescue dive to remove the threat.
A decontamination team from the US Coast Guard Pacific Strike Team, an environmental hazard response unit, showed participants how they would disarm divers exposed to unknown hazardous materials during a dive.
It was also the first time that an Australian survey team had deployed its equipment on a US Coast Guard unit. They are part of the Maritime Geospatial Warfare Unit – a unit that supported recovery operations after the 2021 eruption of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Hapai on the Tongan Islands, as well as flooding in Brisbane, Australia earlier this year. Their survey capabilities extend from below the surface of the water to near space.
Twenty-six nations, 38 ships, four submarines, more than 170 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California from June 29 to August 4. The world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC, offers a unique training opportunity while fostering and maintaining cooperative relationships among participants critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and the security of the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2022 is the 28th exercise of the series which started in 1971.