Story by PO1 Kevin Flinn on 08/07/2018JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM (Aug. 2, 2018) Commander Task Force (CTF) 172 completed its role during the biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise, Aug. 2.
During RIMPAC, CTF-172 successfully completed many first-time accomplishments across several military maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft (MPRA) platforms.
"As commander of the task force, I could not be more proud of the professionalism and tenacious drive towards perfection displayed every day by each member of the CTF-172 team," said Capt. Kevin Long, CTF-172. "Each of the seven countries in CTF-172 worked together, shared best practices and were aligned towards a common goal of maritime excellence."
For the first time a P-8I Neptune from an Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS) participated in RIMPAC. This exercise was the first time an INAS crossed east of the International Date Line with a P-8I Neptune, the Indian version of the U.S. P-8A Poseidon. The integration of the Indian Navy into the CTF-172 MPRA RIMPAC team was referred to as "seamless and provided valuable cross-training opportunities" according to Cmdr. Christopher Metz, CTF-172 Operations Officer.
The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) employed their first Air Telemetry Missile 84 harpoon and exercise torpedo release from a P-8A Poseidon. The harpoon firing was a part of a joint live-fire sinking exercise from aircraft, submarine and land assets from U.S., Australia and Japan.
CTF-172 aircraft were involved in anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, strike group straits transit support, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations. CTF-172 flew a total of 1060.9 flight hours in support of the exercise resulting in a 97 percent mission completion rate.
"To have nearly 100 percent of our aircraft ready for tasking at any time is a true testament to all our professional maintainers and their dedication to our mission," said Long.
CTF-172 was comprised of P-3 and EP-3 aircraft, a combined US Tactical Operations Center/Canadian Deployable Mobile Support Center at Marine Corps Base Hawaii and P-8 aircraft, with a first ever combined US/Australia Mobile Tactical Operations Center at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
CTF-172 incorporated over 745 service members from the U.S., Australia, Canada, India, Korea, Japan and New Zealand, enhancing interoperability and fortifying military-to-military relationships to strengthen joint contingency operations.
Twenty-five nations, 46 ships, five submarines, over 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel participated in RIMPAC from June 27 to Aug. 2 in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. The world's largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity while fostering and sustaining cooperative relationships among participants critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security of the world's oceans. RIMPAC 2018 was the 26th exercise in the series that began in 1971.