Navy to Put $14.9 Million Toward Hawaii Watershed Protection After Red Hill Leak

The Navy plans to put $14.9 million toward helping the Pearl Harbor Aquifer, the most recent effort in the sea service’s steps to regain the trust of the Hawaiian people after a leak at the Red Hill Fuel Facility polluted drinking water. The service will put the $14.9 million toward the Department of Defense Readiness […]

Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro is shown some of the items highlighted in the third-party assessment of the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility in Hawaii on June 13, 2022. U.S. Navy Photo

The Navy plans to put $14.9 million toward helping the Pearl Harbor Aquifer, the most recent effort in the sea service’s steps to regain the trust of the Hawaiian people after a leak at the Red Hill Fuel Facility polluted drinking water.

The service will put the $14.9 million toward the Department of Defense Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration Program Challenge funding, as per an agreement between the Navy and Hawaii, according to a Thursday Navy news release.

The funds will go toward creating watershed protection and restoring native forests. The goal is to address the drinking water supplies at Joint Base Pearl Harbor, according to the release. The money help protect the 7,155 acres of forest above Joint Base Pearl Harbor.

“These native forests protect the source of drinking water for JBPHH and the surrounding local community, provide a buffer from major storm events that cause erosion and flooding, and subsequently minimize impacts to mission operations,” according to the release.

The Office of Naval Research also provided the University of Hawaii with a grant for hydrology research, according to the release.

The grant is part of a March memorandum of understanding between the university and the Navy to work together on water and energy resilience.

“The Navy sees itself as part of the community, and with that role comes a responsibility to protect and preserve the land, water, and other natural resources which Hawaii’s people have honored and depended upon,” Assistant Secretary of the Navy for energy, installations and environment Meredith Berger said in the release. “Oahu’s water sources provide potable water across the island, and we expect these water quality improvements will benefit every resident of Oahu.”

The announcement of the funding comes just over a month after the Navy released its Red Hill report, first leaked by the Hawaii Department of Health. In the report, the Navy said the fuel leak, which led to the contamination of drinking water, was the result of human error.

Hawaii’s Department of Health rejected the defueling plan in late July, saying it was not specific enough, according to Hawaii News Now. The Navy has until September to submit another plan.

The Navy at the time also released its plan to defuel the facility no earlier than December 2024 in July, USNI News reported. The Navy has not yet said to which facilities it will send the fuel.

The Navy plans to move 12.4 million gallons of marine ship diesel fuel and 63 million gallons of aviation jet fuel to another storage facility on Hawaii via a commercial tanker or pipeline, USNI News reported.

Another 30 million gallons of aviation jet fuel will go to the West Coast.

The Navy is currently in its second phase of the defueling plan, which includes identifying the necessary actions for defueling. That is supposed to wrap up this month.

The third phase has a start date of September 2022 and is expected to last until January 2024.

During this phase, the Navy will hire contractors to complete work at Red Hill and make infrastructure repairs required for defueling.

Navy Rolls Out Retention Programs for Submarine Commanders, Senior Enlisted Sailors

A new Navy program will offer $20,000 per year to members of the submarine community in a bid to increase retention. Submarine commanding officers with no less than 19 years but no more than 25 years of service are eligible to receive annual payments of $20,000 if they stay in the Navy for another three […]

Tugboats guide USS Minnesota (SSN-783) to the pier as the Virginia-class nuclear-powered fast-attack submarine returns to Naval Submarine Base New London, Conn., in 2021. US Navy Photo

A new Navy program will offer $20,000 per year to members of the submarine community in a bid to increase retention.

Submarine commanding officers with no less than 19 years but no more than 25 years of service are eligible to receive annual payments of $20,000 if they stay in the Navy for another three to five years, according to NAVADMIN 177, released Aug. 5.

Officers who apply for the retention bonus must be active duty, be serving in a commanding officer special mission billet and be at a O-5 or O-6 paygrade, according to the NAVADMIN.

Being promoted to an O-7 pay grade will make an officer ineligible and will result in unearned portions of the bonus being recouped by the Navy.

Qualifying officers must also have the 1120 designator and have nuclear training. The 1120 designator is “Unrestricted Line Officer billet requiring Submarine Warfare qualification or afloat billets leading to such qualification,” according to Navy HR.

Those who have a continuation bonus already under the nuclear officer incentive pay are not eligible.

If accepted for the retention bonus, officers will be given a service obligation between three to five years, according to the NAVADMIN. The bonus will be distributed yearly, with no option for a lump sum.

The new retaining bonus could be evidence of the Navy’s focus on retention as it faces a challenging recruiting environment. Already, the Navy has offered recruiting bonuses, with up to $50,000 for certain billets.

The Navy has been successful in meeting its retention goals, although they focus on sailors with up to 14 years of service, whereas the new program targets those with at least 19 years.

For nuclear submarine platforms, the Navy is aiming to keep 67 percent of sailors with up to six years, 77 for those with six to 10 years and 87 percent of those with 10 to 14 years, according to a NAVADMIN from January.

The Navy was on target to meet its goals and had already exceeded them for the sailors with up to six years, USNI News previously reported.

However, the Navy is also aiming to target specific billets, introducing the DMAP system to keep sailors at sea longer, USNI News previously reported. The Navy launched the pilot in March with four billets: aviation boatswain’s mate fuel, aviation boatswain’s mate – aircraft handling, gas turbine system technician – mechanical and culinary specialist.

Now the Navy is targeting senior enlisted positions with a new pilot program, according to NAVADMIN 178 published Friday.

Under the pilot program, the Navy is aiming to fill senior leadership sea billets. It will start with positions available in the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group, the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group and on USS George Washington (CVN-73).

George Washington is currently in maintenance and experienced a string of deaths by suicide, prompting the Navy to investigate manning, USNI News previously reported.

In May, the ship was 80 percent crewed, with 60 percent of its chief petty officers and 95 percent of junior sailors assigned to the ship on duty.

The SEA2P pilot program is available to eligible active-duty sailors who are not in the nuclear or special warfare communities. The pilot is limited to E8 or E9 billets considered critical, according to the NAVADMIN.

The sailors selected for the program will serve 36 months in the SEA2P billet.

The Navy is accepting sailors in two waves. The deadline for the first is Aug. 31, with sailors finding out if they will be part of the program between Sept. 26-30.

The deadline for the second wave is Oct. 17 with results released Nov. 14-18.

A list of the SEA2P billets is available on the MyNavyHR website.

Report to Congress on the History of Naval Station Guantanamo Bay

The following is the Aug. 1, 2022, Congressional Research Service report, Naval Station Guantanamo Bay: History and Legal Issues Regarding Its Lease Agreements. From the report This report briefly outlines the history of the U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, its changing relationship to the surrounding community, and its heightened importance due to military operations […]

The following is the Aug. 1, 2022, Congressional Research Service report, Naval Station Guantanamo Bay: History and Legal Issues Regarding Its Lease Agreements.

From the report

This report briefly outlines the history of the U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, its changing relationship to the surrounding community, and its heightened importance due to military operations in Afghanistan. The report also explains in detail the legal status of the lease of the land on which the naval station stands, the statutory and treaty authorities granted to the President with regard to any potential closure of the naval station, and the effects on such a closure that Cuba sanctions laws might have.

At the end of the Spanish-American War in 1898, the Spanish colonies of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines transitioned to administration by the United States. Of these four territories, only Cuba quickly became an independent republic. As a condition of relinquishing administration, though, the Cuban government agreed to lease three parcels of land to the United States for use as naval or coaling stations. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was the sole installation established under that agreement. The two subsequent lease agreements signed in 1903 acknowledged Cuban sovereignty, but granted to the United States “complete jurisdiction and control over” the property so long as it remained occupied.

The prominence of Naval Station Guantanamo Bay rose briefly during the Haitian refugee and Cuban migrant crises of the early 1990s. At one point in late 1994, the migrant population of the naval station approached 45,000. However, by the end of January 1996, the last of these temporary residents had departed.

The naval station’s return to prominence arose due to the establishment of facilities to house a number of wartime detainees captured during military operations in Afghanistan and elsewhere. This practice began in early 2002 with the refurbishment of some of the property formerly used to house refugees and was expanded to more substantial housing that is operated by Joint Task Force-Guantanamo, a tenant for which the naval station provides logistical support. Additional temporary facilities were eventually constructed on a disused naval station airfield for use by the military commissions created to try detainees.

The 1903 lease agreements between the governments of Cuba and the United States are controlled by the language of a 1934 treaty stipulating that the lease can only be modified or abrogated pursuant to an agreement between the United States and Cuba. The territorial limits of the naval station remain as they were in 1934, unless the United States abandons Guantanamo Bay or the two governments reach an agreement to modify its boundaries. While there appears to be no consensus on whether the President can modify the agreement alone, Congress is empowered to alter by statute the effect of the underlying 1934 treaty. There is no current law that would expressly prohibit the negotiation of lease modifications with the existing government of Cuba, but the House of Representatives passed a prohibition on carrying out such a modification without congressional approval as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY2017 (P.L. 114-328). This prohibition has been extended in subsequent years through FY2022.

As for “abandoning” the naval station, there appears to be no statutory prohibitions against closing an overseas military installation. Nevertheless, Congress has imposed practical impediments to closing the naval station by, for example, restricting the transfer of detainees from Guantanamo to foreign countries and banning their transfer to the United States. The existence of various sanctions imposed upon Cuba may also impede closing Naval Station Guantanamo Bay by making it difficult to give or sell any property to the Cuban government.

Download the document here.

RIMPAC 2022 Sets Stage for Interoperability with U.S., Allies

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR HICKAM, HAWAII – If deterring China in the Pacific is a team sport, it might resemble a pickup basketball game more than the NBA. The allied bonds in the Pacific are less rigid than the coalition that makes up NATO in the Atlantic. The complicated web of relationships across the region […]

Mexican Naval Infantry Marines storm the beach after arriving on combat rubber raiding craft during an amphibious raid for a multinational littoral operations exercise as part of Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022. Royal New Zealand Air Force Photo

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR HICKAM, HAWAII – If deterring China in the Pacific is a team sport, it might resemble a pickup basketball game more than the NBA.

The allied bonds in the Pacific are less rigid than the coalition that makes up NATO in the Atlantic. The complicated web of relationships across the region requires looser coalitions – like the Quad relationship between the U.S., Japan, Australia and India – instead of the structure the U.S. enjoys with its European allies in NATO.

At this year’s Rim of the Pacific 2022 naval exercise, U.S. Navy and partner nation officials described the drills as an effort to make operations between participating countries easier, with a focus on communication.

“We’re going to have to someday plugin as one unit, and whether that’s in a humanitarian assistance or disaster response or if it’s in a high-end fight, we need to be able to come together because no one of us is strong enough to tackle any of those problems, whether it’s HADR or a high-end fight,” Vice Adm. Michael Boyle, the commander of U.S. 3rd Fleet, told USNI News in a recent interview.

In addition to learning how each other’s systems and platforms work, nations attending RIMPAC had the chance for their staffs to work with those from other countries.

“Knowing how people work together, how they react, speeds up that interoperability and that capability and where it matters the most is the unexpected,” Royal Canadian Navy Rear Adm. Christopher Robinson, the deputy commander of RIMPAC, told USNI News.

“[If] an earthquake happens and you assemble a task group and every country comes together and they send their ready use forces, knowing that we’re going to establish initial [communications] on these radios and we’re going to use no call signs or call signs, and we’re going to get together twice a day at certain times and talk, once you’ve established all those really basic common understandings, then you can get to actually achieving the mission.”

Interchangeability

Personnel from the Australian Army, Malaysian Army Paratroopers and Sri Lanka Marine Corps form up on the flight deck of Royal Australian Navy Canberra-class landing helicopter dock HMAS Canberra (L02) in preparation for an air assault amphibious raid during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022 on Aug. 1, 2022. Royal Australian Navy Photo

Boyle, who took the helm of 3rd Fleet in June and was the commander of RIMPAC 2022, described a need to push forward past interoperability to achieve interchangeability with allies and partners.

“I tell people that for interchangeability, [it’s] kind of the nexus, the intersection of national objective overlap and interoperability, which is the ability to talk to each other and to work together and to communicate and have tactics that are comparable and complementary,” he said.

When it comes to policy, the United States probably won’t align with a given partner or allied nation on all policy areas, Boyle said. He pointed to a Taiwan Strait transit as an example – performing one may not be in another country’s best interest, but conducting joint operations in the South China Sea could be a better option.

“My argument for interchangeability is that if we try to drive interoperability from the bottom up, from the tactical level up, what always seems to happen in my view … is we run into policy barriers,” he said.

“What seems to work better from my perspective is if we first figure out where our national objectives overlap, then we drive into that space and we have the weight and the leverage of our national command authority,” Boyle added.
“So if it’s important to the nation, then it’s easier to break down the barriers when you can say, ‘hey I really need to get foreign disclosures … for country X because it’s going to enable me to do this thing, which is our national objective. It’s also there’s.’ So it’s win win win. We get interoperability. They take care of their thing. We take care of our thing. And then we drive to the next country or group of countries. You know – multilateral is always better for us – and see where we can find overlapping objectives.”

Working Together 

USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) sails in formation during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022 on July 28. US Navy Photo

RIMPAC 2022 allowed the U.S. and participating nations the chance to rehearse specific scenarios, like an amphibious landing and humanitarian aid and disaster relief efforts, and hone the communications needed to perform those types of operations.

During a USNI News trip aboard Royal Australian Navy amphibious ship HMAS Canberra (L02), two U.S. Marine Corps MV-22B Ospreys from the “Lucky Red Lions” of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 363 were parked on the flight deck. Those aircraft remained embarked with Canberra for all of RIMPAC’s at-sea period.

Capt. Jace Hutchison, the commanding officer of Canberra, said this year’s iteration of RIMPAC allowed the RAN to improve upon the lessons learned in 2016, when it began working toward interoperability with the U.S.

“We have developed a lot since 2016. What happened in 2016 was some initial interoperability testing between, in particular U.S. aircraft and Australian amphibious platform[s]. What we’ve been able to do in RIMPAC 2022 is actually take that to the next level,” Hutchison said.

“It’s an opportunity for us to now develop, in an enduring manner, while having two U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 aircraft embarked for the entire sea phase. That’s something that’s not happened before in an Australian context. And we’re really looking forward to expanding the way that we operate those aircraft within the constraints of our platform.”

In addition to having the U.S. Marine Corps Ospreys, Canberra also cross-decked with U.S. aircraft like the Marine Corps CH-53 Sea Stallion and Japanese aircraft, and had the authorities necessary to cross deck with any nation taking part in RIMPAC that brought aircraft to the exercise, Jace said.

Learning how to communicate with each other during those operations was a top priority for the RAN during RIMPAC, said Lt. Samuel Laidlaw, a flight control officer aboard Canberra.

“I think whenever we do international operations, the most challenging thing tends to be communications. So it can be really little things, like it can be some small differences in the way that we refer to the same thing. So understanding those differences,” Laidlaw told reporters in Canberra‘s flight control office.

“We do briefs beforehand. Before any aircraft come across here, we will endeavor to sit down to do a face-to-face brief with them. If we can’t do that. We have a PowerPoint presentation that we put together where we try and spell out all those little differences.”

For example, the U.S. Marine Corps uses magnetic north in operations, while the RAN uses true north. This meant that when the CH-53s flew out to Canberra, the location for where the ship was pointed was 10 degrees off.

“We were giving them to that in true, and they were expecting it in magnetics. There was a bit of a mismatch there,” Laidlaw said.

In addition to communications, obtaining a clear operational picture is key to conducting any missions with allies and partners.

“How do we ensure that this ship from ‘X’ country and this ship from ‘Y’ country are looking at the same picture, that way decisions can be made,” Capt. Dan Brown, the experimentation lead with U.S. 3rd Fleet, told USNI News.

“At the end of the day your commanders always want to be able to sense the battlespace that they’re assigned to and then ultimately [that] allows them to make decisions on what they want to do. And if we’re not all working off the same sheet of music, it’s going to be tough. So that experiment is pretty high visibility at this RIMPAC.”

Part of ensuring ships from different countries can communicate is testing out the Link 22 tactical data link system, which several participating nations – including the U.S., France, Chile and Canada – use.

“Tactical data links sound like they work together seamlessly. But it’s kind of like when you take your … iPhone, and you wander and you grab free WiFi from place to place to place and you still have to login, and sometimes you got to go to a homepage,” Robinson, the Canadian admiral, told USNI News. “Link systems are the same. They should connect seamlessly, but if you haven’t worked with those particular ships, it’s something to work through – making sure you’re all on the same crypto, that you’re changing at the same time, that control frequencies” are the same.

Future Operations

HMAS Canberra (L02), during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022, Aug. 1, 2022. US Navy Photo

For the Australians, RIMPAC is helping them understand what they can do with U.S. aircraft aboard Canberra, including whether they could deploy U.S. aircraft aboard an Australian ship in the future, akin to the U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters that deployed last year aboard United Kingdom aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08).

Jace, the CO of Canberra, said U.S. Marine Rotational Force – Darwin aircraft could embark aboard Australian ships when they’re forward deployed.

“[Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief] is something that Australia does regularly and if we’ve got MRF-D In Australia operating then that’s a perfect partnership to take out into those regional areas and support as a collective,” he said.

Canada’s Robinson acknowledged that more multi-national carrier strike group deployments like the Queen Elizabeth CSG in 2021 – which included RCN frigate HCMS Winnipeg (FFH 338) – could happen. But Robinson said he believed ad hoc naval coalitions are more likely the way maritime nations will operate together.

“I kind of think that shorter groupings – so bringing task groups together for shorter groupings of time and then ships come and go as their national taskings changed – is going to be the way of the future,” Robinson told USNI News.

Boyle said working with allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific – like the United Nations-led Enforcement Coordination Cell for sanctions on North Korea – in particular, is key to deterring China.

“Continuing to make it apparent that they can’t win is the long-term objective and that way we’ll never have to go to war,” Boyle said.
“And man, if we can do it with partners, when they look out and see the ECC … and see Germany, Canada, France, the U.S., Korea all working together right off their coast, then it’s got to be like, ‘our only friend right now is Russia.’ And it’s not really a very good friend, from a China perspective.”

VIDEO: First Black Four-Star Marine Takes Charge of AFRICOM

The first Black four-star Marine general assumed command of the U.S. Africa Command during a Tuesday ceremony in Germany. Gen. Michael Langley is now the sixth commander of the U.S. Africa Command, which was formed in 2008, according to a statement. The Senate confirmed his nomination at the beginning of the month, USNI News previously […]

U.S. Africa Command change of command held in Stuttgart, Germany, on Aug. 9, 2022. AFRICOM Photo

The first Black four-star Marine general assumed command of the U.S. Africa Command during a Tuesday ceremony in Germany.

Gen. Michael Langley is now the sixth commander of the U.S. Africa Command, which was formed in 2008, according to a statement. The Senate confirmed his nomination at the beginning of the month, USNI News previously reported.

“I look forward to taking on the mantle of leading these talented professionals here at AFRICOM and across our component as we work shoulder to shoulder with our allies and our partners to advance peace and prosperity for both Africa and American homeland,” Langley said during the change of command ceremony.

Langley grew up in a military home and followed in his Air Force father’s footsteps, commissioning in 1985. He previously served as the deputy commander for Marine Forces Command and Marine Force Northern Command, as well as commander for Marine Forces Europe and Africa, according to the press release.

“This one’s for you, Dad,” Langley said.

As the leader of AFRICOM, Langley plans to build strategic partnerships through a whole of government approach, he said.

Langley takes over the position from Army Gen. Stephen Townsend, who is retiring after four decades in the service.

“No assignment of the past 40 years has given me greater professional challenge and fulfillment for more personal growth and leading the men and women of USAFRICOM,” Townsend said during the ceremony.

Leading a command for a continent much larger than the continental United States meant a new trial every day, he said. The African continent cannot be ignored by America, and Townsend said that he was confident that the military was not after hearing sentiments by Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, both of whom were present at the ceremony.

“Africa’s future will have global impact,” Townsend said. “We must continue to work shoulder to shoulder with our allies, with our partners across the continent to secure enduring peace and prosperity for Africa and for America. America’s future security, and I believe our prosperity, depends on a more secure and more prosperous Africa.”

Townsend will leave his position confident that Langley will be able to take up the helm, Townsend said.

Austin, who nominated Langley for the position, said he was proud to oversee the ceremony, especially given its historic nature.

“You are supremely qualified to take on this challenge. And you will bring to bear your tremendous experience—from commands in Okinawa and Afghanistan to serving as J5 director at CENTCOM and many, many other vital assignments,” Austin said in his remarks. “And I know that AFRICOM will benefit from your superb credentials and your outstanding leadership.”

Austin highlighted the challenges facing Africa, including the Al-Shabaab and recent work in Somalia to combat it. Despite AFRICOM being a younger command, it is an important one, Austin said.

“The continent is on the front lines of many of this century’s most pressing threats—from mass migration to food insecurity, from COVID-19 to the climate crisis, from the drumbeat of autocracy to the dangers of terrorism,” he said. “These challenges threaten us all together. And so we must tackle them all together. And that’s just what AFRICOM does.”

Navy Recovers F/A-18E Super Hornet Blown off Deck of USS Harry S. Truman

The F/A-18E Super Hornet blown off the deck of an aircraft carrier was recovered 9,500 feet under the Mediterranean Sea, U.S. 6th Fleet announced on Monday. The single-seat Super Hornet assigned to Carrier Air Wing 1 aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) was knocked off the deck of the carrier in what the Navy at […]

Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) 1st Class Zuani Batista, from the Dominican Republic, directs the pilot of an F/A-18E Super Hornet, attached to the “Blue Blasters” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 34, on the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), April 14, 2022. U.S. Navy Photo

The F/A-18E Super Hornet blown off the deck of an aircraft carrier was recovered 9,500 feet under the Mediterranean Sea, U.S. 6th Fleet announced on Monday.

The single-seat Super Hornet assigned to Carrier Air Wing 1 aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) was knocked off the deck of the carrier in what the Navy at the time called “unexpected heavy weather” during the midst of an underway replenishment.

A “team from Task Force (CTF) 68, Naval Sea Systems Command’s Supervisor of Salvage and Diving (SUPSALV), Harry S. Truman, Naval Strike Fighter Wing Atlantic, and U.S. 6th Fleet embarked on the multi-purpose construction vessel MPV Everest,” oversaw the Aug. 3 recovery, according to the statement from 6th Fleet.
“The aircraft was recovered using a CURV-21 remotely operated vehicle to attach specialized rigging and lift lines to the aircraft. A lifting hook was attached to the rigging to raise the aircraft to the surface and hoist it aboard Everest.”

The recovery team included members from Phoenix International, the maritime salvage company that aided in the recovery of an F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter from the Pacific following a January crash aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70). A similar team, including Navy salvage personnel, recovered the fighter from a depth of 12,500 feet using a CURV-21.

The Navy took the recovered Super Hornet to an unspecified military base in Europe and will eventually transport the jet to the U.S. While 6th Fleet did not provide details, Everest docked in Sicily, near Naval Air Station Sigonella, the day after the recovery in Augusta, according to ship tracking data.

The incident is still under investigation. The service has yet to identify the squadron to which the Super Hornet belonged.

Truman deployed from the East Coast in December and since then has been operating almost exclusively in the Mediterranean Sea. In a visit earlier this year, officials aboard Truman told USNI News the air wing was flying 60 to 90 sorties a day as part of ongoing deterrence missions along NATO’s eastern front.

USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker: Aug. 8, 2022

These are the approximate positions of the U.S. Navy’s deployed carrier strike groups and amphibious ready groups throughout the world as of Aug. 8, 2022, based on Navy and public data. In cases where a CSG or ARG is conducting disaggregated operations, the chart reflects the location of the capital ship. Ships Underway Total Battle […]

USNI News Graphic

These are the approximate positions of the U.S. Navy’s deployed carrier strike groups and amphibious ready groups throughout the world as of Aug. 8, 2022, based on Navy and public data. In cases where a CSG or ARG is conducting disaggregated operations, the chart reflects the location of the capital ship.

Ships Underway

Total Battle Force Deployed Underway
300
(USS 242, USNS 58)
114
(USS 77, USNS 37)
 81
(65 Deployed, 16 Local)

Ships Deployed by Fleet

2nd Fleet 3rd Fleet 4th Fleet 5th Fleet 6th Fleet 7th Fleet Total
2 8 3 11 28 59 111

In Sasebo, Japan

Seaman Zerquera Amaya, from Savannah, Ga., assigned to USS America (LHA-6), directs line handlers on the phone and distance line during a replenishment-at-sea with the fleet replenishment oiler USNS Rappahannock (T-AO-204) in the East China Sea, on Aug. 3, 2022. US Navy Photo

USS America (LHA-6) is in port in Sasebo, Japan. The ship was underway briefly in the East China Sea last week and returned to port on Aug. 5.

In the Philippine Sea

Capt. Fred Goldhammer, commanding officer of USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), escorts visitors on the bridge during a tour while underway in the Philippine Sea on Aug. 5, 2022. US Navy Photo

The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group (CSG) is in the Philippine Sea.

Carrier Strike Group 5

Aircraft carrier

Cmdr. Nick Cunningham, commanding officer of the ‘Saberhawks’ of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 77 flies over USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) in an MH-60R Sea Hawk during a change of command ceremony in the Philippine Sea on Aug. 1, 2022. US Navy Photo

USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), homeported in Yokosuka, Japan.

Carrier Air Wing 5

Aviation Machinist’s Mate Airman Colby Brown, from Rising Sun, Maryland, observes as an E-2D Hawkeye attached to the ‘Tigertails’ of Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 125, prepares for launch on USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) in the Philippine Sea, on Aug. 2, 2022. US Navy Photo

Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, based at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, is embarked aboard Ronald Reagan and includes a total of nine squadrons and detachments:

  • The “Royal Maces” of VFA-27 – Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) – from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan.
  • The “Diamondbacks” of VFA-102 from MCAS Iwakuni.
  • The “Eagles” of VFA-115 from MCAS Iwakuni.
  • The “Dambusters” of VFA-195 from MCAS Iwakuni.
  • The “Shadowhawks” of VAQ-141 – Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) – from MCAS Iwakuni.
  • The “Tiger Tails” of VAW-125 – Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) – from MCAS Iwakuni.
  • The “Providers” of VRC-30 – Detachment 5 – Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) – from MCAS Iwakuni.
  • The “Golden Falcons” of HSC-12 – Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) – from Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan.
  • The “Saberhawks” of HSM-77 – Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) – from Naval Air Facility Atsugi.

Cruisers

USS Antietam (CG-54) receives supplies from the Henry J. Kaiser-class underway replenishment oiler USNS Tippecanoe (T-AO-199) while operating in the Philippine Sea on Aug. 2, 2022. US Navy Photo

  • USS Antietam (CG-54), homeported in Yokosuka, Japan.

Destroyer Squadron 15

Destroyer Squadron 15 is based in Yokosuka, Japan, and is embarked on the carrier.

  • USS Benfold (DDG-65), homeported in Yokosuka, Japan

Sailors refuel an AH-1Z Viper helicopter assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 262 (Reinforced) aboard amphibious assault carrier USS Tripoli (LHA-7) on Aug. 7, 2022. US Navy Photo

Amphibious assault ship USS Tripoli (LHA-7) is underway in the Philippine Sea.

Tripoli departed Naval Station San Diego, Calif., on an independent deployment to the Western Pacific on May 2. The 45,000-ton big-deck amphibious ship has 20 F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters embarked to evaluate the Marines’ “lightning carrier” concept. The Navy and Marine Corps are testing Tripoli’s adjunct capability to a carrier strike group, USNI News has reported.

In the Middle Pacific

Sailors assigned to Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) render honors to the USS Arizona Memorial, as seen from Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD-2) on Aug. 5, 2022. US Navy Photo

The Rim of the Pacific 2022 exercise has concluded and the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group (CSG) is en route San Diego.

Carrier Strike Group 3

Sailors and embarked guests look out at USS Missouri (BB-63) museum ship from the hangar bay as USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) departs Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on Aug. 5, 2022. US Navy Photo

The Lincoln Carrier Strike Group has been on patrol since leaving San Diego, Calif., on Jan. 3.

Carrier

USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72), homeported in San Diego, Calif.

Carrier Air Wing 9

An F-35C Lightning II, assigned to the ‘Black Knights’ of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 314, flies over USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) on July 30, 2022. US Navy Photo

Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9, based at Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif., is embarked aboard Abraham Lincoln and includes a total of nine squadrons and detachments:

  • The “Black Aces” of VFA-41 Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) flying F/A-18Fs from Naval Air Station Lemoore.
  • The “Tophatters” of VFA-14 – F/A-18E – from Naval Air Station Lemoore.
  • The “Vigilantes” of VFA-151 – F/A-18E – from Naval Air Station Lemoore.
  • The “Black Knights” of VMFA 314 – Marine Strike Fighter Squadron (VMFA) flying F-35Cs from Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif.
  • The “Wizards” of VAQ-133 – EA-18G – Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) – from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash.
  • The “Wallbangers” of VAW-117 – E-2D – Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) – from Naval Air Station Point Mugu, Calif.
  • The “Titans” of VRM-30 – CMV-22B – Fleet Logistics Multi-Mission Squadron (VRM) – from Naval Air Station North Island, Calif.
  • The “Chargers” of HSC-14 – MH-60S – Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) – from Naval Air Station North Island.
  • The “Raptors” of HSM-71 – MH-60R – Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) – from Naval Air Station North Island.

Cruiser

Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Miguel Aragon, from Buffalo, N.Y., mans a .50 caliber mount aboard USS Mobile Bay (CG-53) on July 29, 2022. US Navy Photo

  • USS Mobile Bay (CG-53), homeported at Naval Station San Diego, Calif.

Destroyer Squadron 21

Ens. Christiane Mccabe, from Knoxville, N.Y., stands watch on the bridge wing aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG-102) as the ship transits the Pacific Ocean on July 31, 2022. US Navy Photo

Destroyer Squadron 21 is based in San Diego and is embarked on the carrier.

  • USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62), homeported at Naval Station San Diego.
  • USS Gridley (DDG-101), homeported at Naval Station Everett, Wash.
  • USS Sampson (DDG-102), homeported at Naval Station Everett.
  • USS Spruance (DDG-111), homeported at Naval Station San Diego.

Amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD-2) is underway off the coast of Hawaii after departing Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on July 10.

In the Ionian Sea

Sailors raise a jet blast deflector on USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75), Aug. 4, 2022. US Navy Photo

The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (CSG) is underway in the Ionian Sea.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has extended the deployment of the Harry S. Truman CSG, its escorts and Carrier Air Wing 1 as a hedge against Russian aggression in Europe.

USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) has been operating in the Mediterranean Sea since Austin ordered the strike group to remain on station in December as Russia massed forces along the Ukrainian border.

The George H. W. Bush Carrier Strike Group is expected to relieve the Harry S. Truman CSG in the Mediterranean.

Carrier Strike Group 8

Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment) 1st Class Shawn Whitford, from San Diego, processes damage control petty officer designation letters aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) on Aug. 5, 2022. US Navy Photo

Carrier

USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75), homeported in Norfolk, Va.

Carrier Air Wing 1

Aviation Machinist’s Mate 3rd Class Francis Manaog, from Bicol, Philippines, safety checks an E-2D Hawkeye propeller on the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) on Aug. 4, 2022. US Navy Photo

Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1, based at Naval Air Station Oceana, Va., is embarked aboard Harry S. Truman and includes a total of nine squadrons and detachments:

  • The “Red Rippers” of VFA-11 Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) flying F/A-18Fs from Naval Air Station Oceana.
  • The “Fighting Checkmates” of VFA-211 – F/A-18E – from Naval Air Station Oceana.
  • The “Blue Blasters” of VFA-34 – F/A-18E – from Naval Air Station Oceana.
  • The “Sunliners” of VFA-81 – F/A-18E – from Naval Air Station Oceana.
  • The “Rooks” of VAQ-137 – EA-18G – Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) – from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash.
  • The “Seahawks” of VAW-126 – E-2D – Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) – from Naval Air Station Norfolk, Va.
  • The “Rawhides” of VRC-40 – Detachment – C-2A – Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) – from Naval Air Station Norfolk.
  • The “Dragon Slayers” of HSC-11 – MH-60S – Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) – from Naval Air Station Norfolk.
  • The “Proud Warriors” of HSM-72 – MH-60R – Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) – from Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla.

Cruiser

Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Toby Greenie, left, from San Diego and Seaman Ulisses Cotamaldonado, from Tucson, Arizona, give signals to an MH-60S Knight Hawk helicopter assigned to the ‘Proud Warriors’ of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 72, on the flight deck of USS San Jacinto (CG-56), in the Mediterranean Sea on July 27, 2022. US Navy Photo

  • USS San Jacinto (CG-56), homeported at Naval Station Norfolk.

Destroyer Squadron 28

USS Cole (DDG-67) conducts a replenishment-at-sea with the Supply-class fast combat support ship USNS Supply (T-AOE-6) in the Mediterranean Sea on July 29, 2022. US Navy Photo

Destroyer Squadron 28 is based in Norfolk and is embarked on the carrier. The following ships deployed with the strike group.

  • USS Cole (DDG-67), homeported at Naval Station Norfolk.
  • USS Bainbridge (DDG- 96), homeported at Naval Station Norfolk.
  • USS Gravely (DDG-107), homeported at Naval Station Norfolk.
  • USS Jason Dunham (DDG-109), homeported at Naval Station Mayport, Fla.
  • USS Gonzalez (DDG-66), homeported at Naval Station Norfolk.
  • Royal Norwegian Navy frigate HNoMS Fridtjof Nansen (F310).

In the Baltic Sea

Pekka Haavisto, the Finnish Minister of Foreign Affairs, delivers remarks to media during a key leader engagement event aboard the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD-3) in Helsinki, Finland on Aug. 7, 2022. US Marine Corps Photo

The Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) are underway in the Baltic Sea. The ARG includes USS Kearsarge (LHD-3), USS Arlington (LPD-24) and USS Gunston Hall (LSD-44).

According to U.S. 6th Fleet, the ARG “arrived in multiple Baltic Sea ports for scheduled port visits to allied and partner nations, August 5, 2022.”

Kearsarge arrived in Helsinki, Finland; Arlington arrived in Stockholm, Sweden and Gunston Hall pulled into Tallinn, Estonia.

“The ARG-MEU aggregated in the Baltic Sea for the first time on this deployment after passing through the Danish Strait on Aug. 3,” reads a statement from 6th Fleet.
“For Kearsarge and Gunston Hall, this marks a return to the Baltic Sea. Both ships participated in the Estonian-led exercise Siil 22 in May and the annual joint, multinational exercise Baltic Operations (BALTOPS), the premier maritime-focused exercise in the Baltic region, in June. The ships also conducted previous port visits in Helsinki, Stockholm, and Tallinn earlier this year.”

Capt. Eric Kellum, right, commanding officer of the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Arlington (LPD-24), discusses navigational reference points with a Swedish tugboat pilot during a sea and anchor transit to Stockholm, Sweden on Aug. 5, 2022. US Navy Photo

Arlington‘s port visit will be the ship’s first time in the Baltic Sea since deploying from the U.S. East Coast.

“Since arriving in theater, Arlington’s Sailors and Marines have participated in a wide array of bi-lateral and multinational exercises throughout Europe and Africa, including Northern Viking with Iceland, Greece’s exercise Alexander the Great, EFES in Turkey, and African Lion off the coast of Northern Africa,” reads the Navy statement.
“All three ships recently completed near-simultaneous mid-voyage deployment repair (MDVR) and maintenance periods in Brest, France; Rijeka, Croatia; and Copenhagen and Kalundborg, Denmark.”

The ships are back underway today.

USS Gunston Hall (LSD-44) enters port in Tallinn, Estonia for a scheduled port visit on Aug. 5, 2022. Estonian Navy Photo

The 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit is based in North Carolina and includes the command element; the aviation combat element, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron, 263 (Reinforced); the ground combat element, Battalion Landing Team 2/6; and the logistics combat element, Combat Logistics Battalion 26.

The MEU embarked commands with the Kearsarge ARG include Amphibious Squadron Six, Fleet Surgical Team 2, Tactical Air Control Squadron 22, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 28, Assault Craft Unit 2, Assault Craft Unit 4, Naval Beach Group 2 and Beach Master Unit 2.

In the Western Atlantic

Chief Hull Maintenance Technician Lovell Cooper, assigned to the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD-5), and midshipman Second Class Jessie Sedlock, assigned to the United States Naval Academy, test the portable exothermic as part of Readiness Evaluation 7 (READ-E 7), July 27, 2022. US Navy Photo

The Bataan Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) are underway in the Western Atlantic off the coast of North Carolina.

In addition to these major formations, not shown are others serving in submarines, individual surface ships, aircraft squadrons, SEALs, Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Forces, Seabees, Coast Guard cutters, EOD Mobile Units, and more serving throughout the globe.

USS Bulkeley Leaves for Homeport Shift to Rota; USS Delbert D. Black Leaves for Maiden Deployment

USS Bulkeley (DDG-84) left Norfolk, Va., for its new home in Rota, Spain, on Thursday evening, according to a tweet from a ship spotter. Bulkeley will be part of the Forward Deployed Naval Force-Europe ships in Rota that can conduct ballistic missile defense, according to a U.S. Fleet Forces Command news release. Other ships stationed in […]

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Bulkeley (DDG-84) departs Naval Station Norfolk August 4, 2022, commencing the ship’s scheduled homeport shift to Rota, Spain, as part of the U.S. Navy’s long-range plan to gradually rotate the Rota-based destroyers. US Navy Photo

USS Bulkeley (DDG-84) left Norfolk, Va., for its new home in Rota, Spain, on Thursday evening, according to a tweet from a ship spotter.

Bulkeley will be part of the Forward Deployed Naval Force-Europe ships in Rota that can conduct ballistic missile defense, according to a U.S. Fleet Forces Command news release.

Other ships stationed in Rota include USS Arleigh Burke (DDG-51), USS Roosevelt (DDG-80), USS Paul Ignatius (DDG-117) and Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 79.

The Navy has rotated the ships that are homeported in Rota as part of Forward Deployed Naval Force-Europe. Arleigh Burke came to Rota in April 2021, replacing USS Donald Cook (DDG-75). USS Roosevelt replaced USS Carney (DDG-64) in 2020.

Paul Ignatius pulled into Rota for its formal homeport shift in June, USNI News previously reported.

USS Porter (DDG-78) and USS Ross (DDG-71), which are currently homeported at the Spanish naval base, will transition to Norfolk as part of the shift.

The Biden administration in June announced it would base two additional destroyers in Rota, for a total of six, but did not disclose which ships or when they would head to Spain.

Typically the ships in the Forward Deployed Naval Force-Europe operate in the Black Sea for deterrence missions. But no U.S. warships have entered the Black Sea since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

Bulkeley was at one point part of the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group, deploying with the carrier in 2019. That was the ship’s last deployment, USNI News previously reported.

Bulkeley is currently led by Deputy Commodore of Destroyer Squadron 2 Capt. William Harkin, who temporarily took over as commanding officer after the Navy relieved Cmdr. Devine Johnson from the position. The Navy also relieved Master Chief Earl Sanders as the destroyer’s command master chief. The Navy cited a lack of confidence in the their ability to lead as a command team.

The Harry S. Truman CSG is currently in the Mediterranean Sea as part of U.S. support for NATO allies. USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) has gone under NATO control twice during its time in the Mediterranean.

The Harry S. Truman CSG is expected to leave the Mediterranean this month the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group will move in as the replacement, according to the USNI News Fleet Tracker.

USS Delbert D. Black (DDG-119) left Naval Station Mayport, Fla., earlier this week for its maiden deployment. The destroyer will be part of the George H.W. Bush CSG.

“The ship completed all training phases of the Optimized Fleet Response Plan with Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 26 and Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 10,” U.S. Fleet Forces Command said in a news release.

RIMPAC 2022 Officials Reflect on Lessons Learned, What to Change for RIMPAC 2024

The Rim of the Pacific 2022 exercise enabled participants to build upon their adaptability, particularly during the unscripted portion, leaders overseeing the exercise told reporters Wednesday. Officials said they will assess the experiences and lessons gathered from the exercise to decide what to execute in RIMPAC 2024. Speaking in a media call, U.S. 3rd Fleet […]

Mexican Naval Infantry participates in an amphibious raid for a multinational littoral operations exercise as part of Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022, Aug. 1. Infantería de Marina Photo

The Rim of the Pacific 2022 exercise enabled participants to build upon their adaptability, particularly during the unscripted portion, leaders overseeing the exercise told reporters Wednesday.

Officials said they will assess the experiences and lessons gathered from the exercise to decide what to execute in RIMPAC 2024.

Speaking in a media call, U.S. 3rd Fleet commander Vice Adm. Michael Boyle, who is also commander of RIMPAC 2022, said the biggest lesson learned from the exercise was the need to have a less scripted program and design for the drills.

“What that did for us was that the scripted allows us to really enhance tactical training between tactical units, but by being unscripted it now allows us to give training in more of the leadership role. So if you were the commander of a task group/force or a combined component commander, having to think through an unpredictable program forces you to think like you would have to in crisis, and that’s any crisis, whether it is humanitarian assistance or conflict and that is probably one of the biggest lessons that we got out of this RIMPAC,” Boyle said.

He added that moving forward the U.S. Navy will evolve the understanding on how participants plug into an unscripted command and control structure and continue to refine that part of RIMPAC.

Canadian Rear Adm. Christopher Robinson, the deputy commander of RIMPAC 2022 who was also on the press call, said senior leaders that morning discussed the takeaways from the exercise and, in the next couple of days, will incorporate them into building the 2024 exercise.

“We’ve already sketched out some ideas, things that we’ve learned, some improvements that we’d like to make and that will feature in the 2024 series,” Robinson said.

U.S. Navy Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2), front, and Royal Australian Navy Canberra-class landing helicopter dock HMAS Canberra (L02) transit the Pacific Ocean during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022, July 29, during an amphibious raid. U.S. Navy Photo

Robinson noted the exercise participants met together 18 months ago to discuss what each nation wanted to achieve for RIMPAC 2022 and built the exercises on those objectives, which in some cases included building new capabilities. Some other objectives were refining skills and for some countries, it meant taking on new challenges.

As examples, he cited Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) Rear Adm. Sangmin An commanding the amphibious task force and Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) Col. Kwan Hon Chuong as sea combat commander, the embarkation of two U.S. Marine Corps MV-22B Ospreys on Royal Australian Navy (RAN) landing helicopter dock HMAS Canberra (L02) and the Royal Malaysian Navy corvette KD Lekir (FSG-26) conducting the RMN’s first missile firing outside of Malaysian waters.

RIMPAC 2022 also featured the participation of four Unmanned Surface Vessels (USV) in the exercise. Robinson said the experience with autonomous and remotely-controlled systems in RIMPAC 2022 has on the capabilities, payloads and the ways these systems can be employed.

Boyle said there were a number of unique aspects to the Sinking Exercises (SINKEX) carried out at RIMPAC, in which decommissioned frigate ex-USS Rodney M. Davis (FFG-60) and decommissioned landing platform dock ex-USS Denver (LPD-9) were sunk. He pointed to the U.S. Air Force MQ-9 UAVs providing real-time data and live feed during the SINKEXs to participants. He added that the SINKEXs also involved the simultaneous executions of multiple kill chains, such as directly from a ship targeting and firing to over-the-horizon targeting provided by a platform to a firing unit of another platform.

The SINKEXs in RIMPAC 2022, Boyle said, also span the gamut of multi-domain fires, including fires from various air platforms such as a Harpoon missile from a Royal Australian Air Force P-8 Poseidon and the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) firing a ground-based surface to ship missile at Denver. The 5th Surface to Ship Missile Regiment fired Type 12 Surface to Ship Missiles for the SINKEX, according to a July 28 JGSDF news release.

A Navy Marine Expeditionary Ship Interdiction System (NMESIS), right, fires as part of a sinking exercise (SINKEX) during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022 on July 22. U.S. Navy Photo

As for the effect of the closure of the Red Hill Fuel Depot in Hawaii and the inability to use it in the exercise, Boyle said it actually led to participants honing their skills in at-sea replenishments and enhancing training in operations with CONSOL (consolidated cargo operations) ships.

During RIMPAC 2022, Military Sealift Command (MSC) chartered tanker ships MT Maersk Peary and SLNC Goodwill to provide at-sea fuel deliveries to the MSC’s Combat Logistics Fleet (CLF) ships that supported the underway phase of the exercise.

Goodwill supplied diesel ship fuel to MSC replenishment ships USNS Pecos (T-AO- 197) and USNS Henry J. Kaiser (T-AO-187), in addition to dry cargo/ammunition ship USNS Washington Chambers (T-AKE-11), while Maersk Perry supplied JP5 aviation fuel and diesel ship fuel, according to a 3rd Fleet news release.

“So that kind of takes away some of the requirement for fixed site logistics hubs like Red Hill because we’re able to do that from a mobile platform, a more survivable platform, at sea. In this case, we really did move our capability and our proficiency at refueling at sea for all our partner nations to new heights,” Boyle said. Along with the U.S ships, Australia’s HMAS Supply (A195) and New Zealand’s HMNZS Aotearoa (A11) provided replenishment to ships in the exercise.

Boyle said that a key aspect of RIMPAC is the relationships built between individual participants in the exercise and how they are able to work together and exchange knowledge. He cited an example of where he came across Canadian, Chilean and French sailors prior to the at-sea phase discussing how to operate the Link 22 system and solving the issues that Chile was having in getting the system to work. Boyle said that when the underway began, the ships from those countries were using Link 22 with each other seamlessly.

“And that to me is just a small example of the benefit of coming together and of operating together, as we are like-minded and when we need to operate together in crisis, we already know how to do it. We don’t have to learn those lessons, we’re learning them during RIMPAC. My goal for this RIMPAC was that everybody learned, and go back with competence and maybe some skills that they didn’t have and I can tell you without doubt that has happened for every participant,” he said.

Navy IDs USS Arleigh Burke Sailor Lost At Sea

The Navy identified a sailor, assigned to USS Arleigh Burke (DDG-51), who went overboard as Seaman Recruit David Spearman. Spearman, who was on his first assignment, went overboard Monday afternoon, 6th Fleet spokesperson Lt. Richlyn Ivey said in an email. Arleigh Burke was operating in the Baltic Sea at the time, according to a Thursday Navy […]

Seaman Recruit David Spearman US Navy Photo

The Navy identified a sailor, assigned to USS Arleigh Burke (DDG-51), who went overboard as Seaman Recruit David Spearman.

Spearman, who was on his first assignment, went overboard Monday afternoon, 6th Fleet spokesperson Lt. Richlyn Ivey said in an email. Arleigh Burke was operating in the Baltic Sea at the time, according to a Thursday Navy press release.

Search and rescue efforts began Monday afternoon and ended Tuesday, Ivey said. The investigation is ongoing. Ivey did not say if foul play or suicide is suspected.

The German and Swedish navies, as well as the U.S. Air Force, assisted Arleigh Burke‘s crew with the search.

Spearman, of North Carolina, enlisted on Nov. 10, 2021. He reported to Arleigh Burke on April 21, 2022 after his training at Great Lakes, Ill.

“This bright, young man made an oversized positive impact on Arleigh Burke. My entire crew’s thoughts and prayers are with Seaman Recruit Spearman’s family and friends. We offer our most sincere condolences for their loss,” Arleigh Burke Commanding Officer Cmdr. Pete Flynn said in the Navy release.

Arleigh Burke is homeported at Naval Station Rota as part of the Forward Deployed Naval Force-Europe (FDNF-E). It moved to Rota, Spain, in April of last year, replacing USS Donald Cook (DDG-75), USNI News previously reported.