Canada: A ‘Capable, Adaptive, Partner’ at RIMPAC 2022


U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Michael Boyle, Commander Combined Task Force, presents Commander Kevin Whiteside, Commander HMCS Vancouver, with a plaque commemorating the ship’s participation in Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022 at Pearl Harbor, July 6. Photo: Sergeant Ghislain Cotton, Canadian Armed Forces.

Lt(N) Michelle Scott, 
HMCS Vancouver Public Affairs Officer,

Capt Jennie Derenzis, 
Combined Information Bureau, RIMPAC 2022

Part 3 – The Royal Canadian Navy optimizes opportunities to work with allies

This year’s multi-nation Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) is hosted by the Commander of the United States Pacific Fleet and led by the Commander of U.S. 3rd Fleet biennially. RIMPAC 2022, taking place June 29 to August 4, has returned to a full-scale implementation of the world’s largest maritime exercise. It follows a scaled-back RIMPAC 2020 during the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The initial shore-phase of the multi-nation Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) provided Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) participants with unique opportunities to exchange ideas and carry out operations-focused training with international partners and allies.

As RIMPAC 2022 transitioned into the sea phase, Commander (Cdr) Kevin Whiteside, HMCS Vancouver’s Commanding Officer, said the first two weeks of shore phase helped the ships crews to prepare for operations at sea.

“Once we get out to sea, there’s no exact starting point for us – we can continue with the basics we discussed alongside or we can expand on those facets to challenge ourselves and our interoperability,” he said. “Vancouver is a great team of 250 awesome Canadians, and RIMPAC brings us all together as an even bigger team.”

During RIMPAC’s alongside phase, HMCS Vancouver spent time exchanging ideas and practices with partner nations the crew will be working with during Operations Projection and Neon following RIMPAC.

The ship hosted members from Australian supply ship HMAS Supply to discuss the Vancouver’s experience and familiarity with the Close-In Weapons System, a relatively new system for the Australian ship. Divers from the French frigate FS Prairial conducted a hull inspection and familiarization dive with Vancouver’s dive team. These meetings were made possible by RIMPAC 2022 Commander Vice Admiral Michael Boyle of the United States (U.S.) Navy, with an aim of bringing like-minded partners and allies together.

The end of July and early August provided both Canadian ships with more opportunities to hone skills with their Indo-Pacific allies and partners during ‘free play’ wartime scenarios.

Alongside Pearl Harbor, HMCS Winnipeg carried out a number of operations-focused training serials with the U.S., Chile, and France to test their communications. Cross-deck evolutions alongside were conducted with their Air Detachment, who hosted partner Maritime Helicopter crews from Australia, Japan, England, and the U.S. These evolutions covered the landing and fuelling capabilities of the ship and aircraft, critical skillsets for Maritime Helicopter crews to master in order to operate safely while at sea.

On July 12, HMCS Winnipeg, in partnership with Australia, Malaysia and the U.S., fired upon and sunk the decommissioned ex-USS Rodney M. Davis (FFG 60) during the first of two scheduled sinking exercises (SINKEX) to gain proficiency in tactics, targeting, and live firing against a surface target at sea. SINKEX vessels are put through a certified cleaning process, including removing all environmentally harmful material including trash, floatable material, mercury, fluorocarbon, and petroleum.

Soon, HMCS Vancouver and HMCS Winnipeg will bid Hawaii a final farewell and depart for their future operations.

Look for the final part of this series, Clearance Divers share in salvage tasks with partner nations, coming soon.

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