Allied forces sink ex-US Navy ship at RIMPAC

The United States Navy reported that live fire from aircraft, a submarine, and land assets participating in Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2018 sank the decommissioned ex-USS Racine (LST 1191) in waters 15,000 feet deep 55 nautical miles north of Kauai, Hawaii on July 12.

A Japanese Type 12 surface-to-ship missile (SSM-12) is launched by the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force from Pacific Missile Range Facility Barking Sands. US Navy photo

The sinking exercise (SINKEX) featured live firing of surface-to-ship missiles by the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force and a Naval Strike Missile (NSM) from a launcher on the back of a Palletized Load System (PLS) by the US Army.

A Royal Australian Air Force P-8A Poseidon aircraft also participated in the SINKEX.

“Today, we demonstrated the lethality and adaptability of our joint forces in the maritime environment,” said Admiral Phil Davidson, commander of United States Indo-Pacific Command. “As naval forces drive our enemies into the littorals, army forces can strike them. Conversely, when the army drives our enemies out to sea naval firepower can do the same.”

“With numerous warships, allied submarines, multiple strike aircraft and multi-domain land forces participating, this SINKEX was an extremely valuable part of RIMPAC,” said Royal Canadian Navy Rear Admiral Bob Auchterlonie, deputy commander of the RIMPAC Combined Task Force. “SINKEXs are an important way for us to test our weapons and weapons systems in a way that provides our ships’ companies, our submariners, our aircrews, and our land forces with the most realistic training possible.”

A Naval Strike Missile (NSM) is launched from the back of a Palletized Load System (PLS) by the U.S. Army at Pacific Missile Range Facility Barking Sands. US Air Force photo

“Each SINKEX is required to sink the hulk (Former US Navy vessels used in SINKEXs) in at least 1,000 fathoms (6,000 feet) of water and at least 50 nautical miles from land,” the US Navy said. “Surveys are conducted to ensure that people and marine mammals are not in an area where they could be harmed during the event.”