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NEWS | Aug. 4, 2022

Partners Take to the Air

By Petty Officer 3rd Class Kylie Jagiello Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet

HONOLULU, Hawaii -- The interoperability of Australian and Indian defense air platforms was on show during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022 with both countries anti-submarine warfare (ASW) P-8 aircraft conducting serials together.

Detachment Commander P-8A Royal Australian Air Force Squadron Leader Johnathan Logan said it showed close tactical coordination between the two nations.

“Operating in vicinity of an aircraft carrier creates greater challenges and generates added complexity in airspace deconfliction, tasking delegation and a complicated communications environment,” Logan said. “The crews conducted mission planning discussions to determine how to specifically pass tactical information in the air, ensuring exercise challenges and differences between operating procedures were overcome.

“A highlight was seeing the relationships between our two nations continuing to grow and the demonstration of regional interoperability.”

Previous experience operating near aircraft carriers ensured a seamless preparation for the P-8A crew.

Deputy Detachment Commander of the Indian detachment, Indian Navy Commander Kashyap Srinivasan said their P-8I were fully integrated to provide the Indian Navy’s Carrier Task Force with necessary surveillance and ASW protection.

“RIMPAC 2022 was a good opportunity for my crew to exercise in a restricted airspace and amalgamate our processes, furthering interoperability between the two navies,” Srinivasan said. “With only minor differences between our platforms, the commonality in procedures and operating philosophy, and prior discussions and coordination ensured smooth turnover during ASW missions.”

During the sea phase of RIMPAC 2022, the Australian detachment conducted their first drop of a new exercise torpedo (EXTORP) variant.

“We had conducted training back home for this particular mission, as well as a dedicated mission planning session during the harbor phase of RIMPAC,” Logan said. “The EXTORP performed as expected and allowed our two crews to become qualified and experienced in real world torpedo delivery.”

Twenty-six nations, 38 ships, three submarines, more than 170 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC from June 29 to Aug. 4 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 on the world's oceans. RIMPAC 2022 is the 28th exercise in the series that began in 1971.

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