The U.S. Navy and partner nations wrapped up the biennial Rim of the Pacific 2020 exercise over the weekend with the sinking of a decommissioned amphibious cargo vessel.
Forces began firing on former USS Durham, a Charleston-class amphibious cargo vessel that was decommissioned in 1994, on Aug. 29. The hulk sank shortly after midnight local time on Aug. 30, U.S. 3rd Fleet spokesman Cmdr. John Fage told USNI News.
Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Jefferson City (SSN-759) launched an MK-48 torpedo for the sinking exercise (SINKEX), according to Fage.
Aircraft from the U.S. Navy’s Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 37 launched a Hellfire missile, while Patrol Squadron (VP) 46 fired a Harpoon AGM-84 missile.
Cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG-70) launched a Harpoon RGM-84 anti-ship missile, and destroyer USS Chung-Hoon (DDG-93) fired its five-inch gun.
Brunei’s offshore patrol vessel KDB Darulehsan (OPV 07) launched an Exocet missile for the SINKEX. The Royal Australian Navy’s HMAS Stuart (FFH 153) fired its five-inch gun, while Australian helicopters launched a Hellfire missile.
Canada’s Halifax-class frigate HMCS Regina (FFH 334) also launched two Harpoon missiles.
“Shooting a Harpoon missile is a difficult and perishable skill, so any opportunity to plan and execute exercises with combined forces increases our skills, proficiency, and overall capability,” Lt. Mike Vanderveer, Regina’s weapons officer, said in a statement.
The SINKEX rounded out this year’s RIMPAC, which was both smaller and shorter because of the coronavirus pandemic. Planners chose not to host shore events, and warfighting drills took place solely at-sea this year due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Ten countries, including the United States, joined together for the event. France, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Brunei, Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, and the Republic of Korea participated in the exercise, which featured 22 vessels and one submarine.