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NEWS | July 1, 2014

Army Watercraft, Divers, Sustainment Troops to Participate in RIMPAC 2014

By Sgt. 1st Class Mary Ferguson 8th Theater Sustainment Command

Hawaii-based Army watercraft assets, divers and sustainment troops are set to play major roles in surface/vertical lift, casualty evacuation, and Logistics over the Shore operations during the biennial Rim of the Pacific 2014 exercise, June 26 through Aug. 1.

The 8th Theater Sustainment Command troops will join the 23 nations, 49 ships, six submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel participating in the world's largest international exercise, designed to provide unique training opportunities and strengthen the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring safety of sea lanes and security in the world's oceans.

Sgt. 1st Class Brandon Roth, the 8th Theater Sustainment Command's Sea Operations lead, said that nearly 70 percent of the world is water and 80 percent of the world's population lives on or near a coast, so freedom of movement is essential, especially in the Pacific region.

"The global maritime environment is too large and too complex for any one service or nation to safeguard and respond to situations in and around it alone," he said.

Rim of the Pacific 2014 will exercise a wide range of capabilities and situations, from disaster response and maritime security operations to sea control and complex warfighting. It will also feature a humanitarian assistance/disaster relief event to facilitate training and certification for expeditionary forces to respond to foreign disasters.

During the exercise, the 524th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion will set-up and validate its Early Entry Command Post's ability to monitor, battle track, and provide mission command in an austere environment.

A 163rd Transportation Detachment crew will man Logistic Support Vessel 2, named the U.S. Army Vessel CW3 Harold A. Clinger, for long range escort and harbor approach operations with the Navy and Coast Guard, and provide eight surface lifts between Kaneohe Bay and Kawaihae Harbor, in support of 3rd Marines. The vessel will also partner with 25th Infantry Division's 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, for casualty evacuation operations and a shipboard aerial resupply with the New Zealand Navy.

During Logistics over the Shore operations, the 7th Engineer Dive Detachment will conduct port reconnaissance and the LSV-2 crew will exercise working in unimproved port conditions, as the 545th Transportation Harbormaster Detachment provides command and control to train and validate the unit's Harbormaster Command and Control Center for employment in remote and unpredictable environments.

"Our economies, lives and mutual interest are more intertwined now than ever before in this region," Roth said. "The operations we're participating in this next month will help us learn, communicate and operate with our counterparts, as we discover each other's capabilities and how we can work together to maximize their impact."
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