US joint forces have participated in a live-fire sinking exercise in the Hawaiian Islands Operating Area in the Pacific Ocean.
The exercise saw the participation of units from Vinson Carrier Strike Group (VINCSG), 1 Marine Expeditionary Force/3rd Marine Air Wing, III Marine Expeditionary/3rd Marine Division, Submarine Forces Pacific, and the US Army Multi-Domain Task Force (MDTF).
The units conducted coordinated multi-domain, multi-axis, long-range maritime strikes during the exercise on the decommissioned Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate ex-USS Ingraham (FFG 61).
US 3rd Fleet commander vice-admiral Steve Koehler said: “Lethal combat power was effectively applied to a variety of maritime threats over the last two weeks in a simulated environment as part of the navy’s large-scale exercise and expertly demonstrated Sunday with live ordnance.”
Former naval vessels that are used in sinking exercises are referred to as ‘hulks’.
The event requires participants to sink the hulk in at least 6,000ft of water and some 50nm from land.
Following this, surveys are conducted to protect people or marine mammals against possible harm caused during the event.
Before being transported for participation in a sinking exercise, each hulk is put through an extensive cleaning process for environmental safety.
In January 2015, the US Navy decommissioned its last Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate USS Ingraham following 25 years in service.
In a separate development, the US Navy/US Marine Corps (USMC) Expeditionary Ship Interdiction System successfully hit its target in support of Marine Corps Forces during Large Scale Exercise.
Some of the concepts of the USMC’s Navy Marine Expeditionary Ship Interdiction System (NMESIS) were validated.
This capability ‘facilitates sea denial and control while persisting within the enemy’s weapons engagement-zone’.
It provides the Marine Littoral Regiment with a ground-based anti-ship capability.