International Exercise Tests Submarine Rescue Techniques

A major international submarine search and rescue exercise has concluded off the coast of Western Australia. Exercise Pacific Reach 2019, held at Fleet Base West and in the Western Australian Exercise Area, involved assets from Australia, Japan, Malaysia, the Republic of Korea, Singapore and the United States. Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said the exercise was vital to developing interoperability and trust with partner nations.

Exercise Pacific Reach 2019
Exercise Pacific Reach 2019

“During Exercise Pacific Reach the Royal Australian Navy’s Submarine Force and our regional partners demonstrated readiness and the ability to respond to the unlikely event of a submarine incident at sea,” Minister Reynolds said. “Each nation’s submarine search, escape and rescue organisations took part in simulated rescues. “HMAS Sheean and ROKS Lee Sun-sin, both successfully transferred participants while submerged using the James Fisher Submarine Rescue System submersible LR5, with support from rescue units from Japan and the United States.
Exercise Pacific Reach 2019
Exercise Pacific Reach 2019

The exercise, known as Exercise PACIFIC REACH 2019, involved the use of two submarines and various support vessels over the course of a two-week period. The aim of Exercise PACIFIC REACH is to increase the level of interoperability among participating nations in the unlikely event of a submarine incident at sea. Exercise Pacific Reach is a triennial multinational event and was last held in the Republic of Korea in 2016.

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