In hail of firepower, RIMPAC militaries sink decommissioned vessel off Hawaii

Officials say alliances, such as the opportunity to practice tactical warfare alongside partner nations, ensures regional stability in the Indo-Pacific.
Published: Jul. 27, 2022 at 2:04 PM HST|Updated: Jul. 27, 2022 at 2:29 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - RIMPAC participants recently had the chance to play “Battleship” in real life.

On July 22, U.S. and Japanese forces collaborated in an exercise to sink a massive vessel. The victim was the decommissioned ex-USS Denver, which first launched in the mid 1960s.

Units gathered 50 nautical miles north of Kauai to participate in the sinking exercise (SINKEX). Weapons from the land, air and sea had the opportunity to fire at the retired ship, leaving it in smoke and flames.

“SINKEX is more than the end result,” said Mark Goulden, commander of the RIMPAC Combined Force Air Component Command.

“It takes a team of capable, adaptive partners from different nations and disciplines to come together to find, fix, track, target, engage and assess with the agility and precision required to put the right ordnance in the right place, at the right time, every time.”

Officials say alliances, such as the opportunity to practice tactical warfare alongside partner nations, ensures regional stability in the Indo-Pacific.

Authorities say the sinking exercise was conducted in compliance with Environmental Protection Agency rules under a permit held by the Navy.

In preparation for the activity, the chosen vessel was cleaned to remove physical and chemical pollutants, including petroleum, according to an official report.

The report states that surveys were conducted to ensure humans and marine mammals were not in the area during the exercise.

Various SINKEX activities have occurred throughout the month of July before RIMPAC’s conclusion on Aug. 4.

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