US Navy and Allied Navies Concludes Exercise Pacific Dragon 2022 (PD22)
US Navy and Allied Navies Concludes Exercise Pacific Dragon 2022 (PD22)

US Navy and Allied Navies Concludes Exercise Pacific Dragon 2022 (PD22)

Naval Forces from the Royal Australian Navy, Royal Canadian Navy, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, Republic of Korea Navy, U.S Missile Defense Agency, and U.S Navy successfully conducted Pacific Dragon 2022 (PD22), a recurring biennial multinational air and missile defense exercise, from August 5-15, 2022, in Hawaii at Pacific Missile Range Facility Barking Sands (PMRF) and off the coast of Kauai. PD22 was the first iteration of exercise Pacific Dragon that included a live fire intercept of a short range ballistic missile using a Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) Block IA.

USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) launches a Standard Missile 3 Block IA as part of Pacific Dragon 22.
U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) launches a Standard Missile 3 Block IA as part of Pacific Dragon 22. (Photo by Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet/U.S. Navy)

Naval assets that participated in PD22 included HMAS Sydney (DDG 42), HMAS Supply (A 195), HMCS Vancouver (FFH 331), JS Haguro (DDG 180), ROKS Sejong the Great (DDG 991), USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62), USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110), and Pacific Missile Range Facility Barking Sands, Kauai. Pacific Dragon is a biennial exercise designed to improve tactical and technical coordination and interoperability concerning regional air and missile defense capability.

Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110) sails in formation during Pacific Dragon 2022, Aug. 12.

The RIM-161 Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) is a ship-based surface-to-air missile system used by the United States Navy to intercept short- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles as a part of Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System.Although primarily designed as an anti-ballistic missile, the SM-3 has also been employed in an anti-satellite capacity against a satellite at the lower end of low Earth orbit. The SM-3 block IA version provides an incremental upgrade to improve reliability and maintainability at a reduced cost.

USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) departs Pearl Harbor to participate in Pacific Dragon 2022. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Greg Hall)

An integral part of U.S. Pacific Fleet, U.S. 3rd Fleet operates naval forces in the Indo-Pacific and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary to execute our Navy’s role, in support of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and the joint force, across the full spectrum of military operations–from combat operations to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. U.S. 3rd Fleet works together with our Allies and partners to advance freedom of navigation, the rule of law, and other principles that underpin security and a free and open Indo-Pacific.

Multinational naval ships sail in formation during Pacific Dragon 2022, Aug. 12. (U.S. Navy photo by Electronics Technician 2nd Class Leland T. Hasty II)