Sailors, families peek inside participating ships at RIMPAC 2018

Sailors, families peek inside participating ships at RIMPAC 2018
Aircrafts are seen on the USS Carl Vinson. The vessel can hold over 70 aircrafts. (Photo: Hawaii News Now)
Aircrafts are seen on the USS Carl Vinson. The vessel can hold over 70 aircrafts. (Photo: Hawaii News Now)
The USS Carl Vinson launched in 1980, and cost $3.8 billion. (Photo: U.S. Navy)
The USS Carl Vinson launched in 1980, and cost $3.8 billion. (Photo: U.S. Navy)
The HMAS Adelaide is primarily used to haul equipment and machinery. (Photo: Hawaii News Now)
The HMAS Adelaide is primarily used to haul equipment and machinery. (Photo: Hawaii News Now)
A panoramic view of the USNS Mercy. (Photo: Hawaii News Now)
A panoramic view of the USNS Mercy. (Photo: Hawaii News Now)

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM (HawaiiNewsNow) - RIMPAC 2018 is in full swing at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, and on Saturday, sailors and families got a chance to peek inside some of the participating vessels.

The main attraction at the event was the USS Carl Vinson, a 1,000-foot-long, 95,000-ton aircraft carrier — the largest vessel at this year's exercises by far.

"We're very proud of it, we like to say we're America's favorite carrier," said Lt. Com. Tim Hawkins, public affairs officer of the Carl Vinson. "We have a lot of pride in what we do and the mission we're called to do."

The ship responds to national crises and provides opportunities in areas with difficult access. The carrier can carry up to 70 aircrafts at a time.

The Carl Vinson was also the vessel that transported the body of Osama bin Laden to its burial at sea in 2011.

There are over 40 other vessels at RIMPAC this year, and as the the event progresses, things like gunnery, missile, anti-submarine and air defense exercises will be performed.

Another participating ship is the INS Sahyadri, a Indian stealth frigate.

When asked how it feels to fire the medium-range gun on his ship, Indian Navy Cmdr. Amit Kumar Sinha described a sense of accomplishment.

"It takes a lot of training, a lot of hard work, and part of everybody on board," he said. "When you hear the missile going, when you hear the guns firing, and when you see them hitting the target the way you wanted it to, it gives you a lot of satisfaction."

There are plenty of ships at RIMPAC capable of assisting in offensive action, but others serve a different purpose.

Another large vessel parked just off the Aloha State is the HMAS Adelaide, one of the largest ships ever built for the Royal Australian Navy.

The ship, which leads Australia's five participating vessels this year, is fitted with defensive systems and weaponry. But the Adelaide's primary mission is transport.

"Our main job is to move people, equipment, machinery, whatever it may be from the sea to the shore, and the shore back to the sea," said Captain Jonathan Earley. "We are the floating airport and seaport."

The Captain said he's excited to be at RIMPAC for the training opportunities.

"It builds confidence that we, as a multinational force, if called upon by a nation in trouble, can come together and help them as a united force," Earley said.

Australia is a regular at the exercises, which take place in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California every two years.

The U.S. Navy also displayed a vessel with a different objective, the USNS Mercy, a hospital ship that is nearly 900 feet long.

"The Mercy is a ship that brings health and peace and safety to people in harm's way," said Lynelle Boamah, executive officer of the ship. "Our primary mission is to support the warfighter in combat situations."

Boamah says the ship also goes into the Asian pacific to provide training, disaster preparedness, and sometimes even humanitarian relief.

"We treat everything from trauma patients to the walking wounded," Boamah said.

The Mercy will be practicing with manikins during their RIMPAC drills.

Out of all the different ships and nations that make up RIMPAC 2018, one common idea was shared.

In the ocean, we're very small, so in order for us to cover the world, you got to do it with partners, you got to have allies," Hawkins said. "It takes exercises like these, it's constant work, constant trust building, and that's what we do here."

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