Home : Media : News : News Article View

U.S. and Chinese Navies Collaborate on Submarine Rescue Exercise

By Story by Petty Officer 2nd Class Jeffrey Troutman | July 15, 2016

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM – The U.S. and Chinese navies collaborated on a practical submarine rescue exercise conducted off the coast of Hawaii, during Rim of the Pacific 2016, July 13.

As part of the exercise, U.S. Navy submariners embarked the Chinese navy submarine rescue ship Changdao (ASR 867) and worked with Chinese navy counterparts to launch an undersea rescue vehicle LR-7, conducting a successful mating evolution with a faux-NATO rescue seat.

“It was a completely successful exercise on both sides,” said Bill Orr, technical advisor for the International Submarine Escape and Rescue Liaison Office. “The rescue vehicle mating exercise was a culmination of a very detailed and well-planned bilateral and multilateral submarine rescue vignette within the RIMPAC training evolution.”

Orr said the exercise demonstrated that the U.S. and China could seamlessly carry out a combined submarine rescue effort in the event of a submarine accident or casualty.

“I was very impressed with how engaged the Chinese officers were towards enabling a cooperative rescue effort, if needed,” said Orr. “Having everyone ready to jump into action and demonstrating the readiness displayed today is very satisfying. Of course, you hope you never have to use these kinds of skills in a non-training scenario, but I feel very comfortable knowing we can succeed if and when it’s needed.”

The rescue exercise also served as an important step in demonstrating China’s ability to support an international rescue event.

“This exercise is a great way to show that we can come together with different countries to rescue submarine personnel who are in distress,” said Navy Diver 1st Class Gabriel Butler, who served as a safety liaison for the U.S. Navy during the exercise. “It’s been great collaborating with both the Chinese and the other nations who were on hand for the training symposiums and briefings we did surrounding this exercise. We’ve found that most countries’ submarine rescue assets are very similar, which makes it that much easier should we ever need to come together to perform a submarine rescue.”

Butler added that while most countries’ submarine rescue assets are very similar to one another, the practical submarine exercise with China provided an opportunity for the countries to collaborate and develop a cohesive and actionable plan for enabling a successful submarine rescue exercise.

Twenty-six nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC from June 30 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 that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2016 is the 25th exercise in the series that began in 1971.

Like Us
Follow Us



Tri-service Team Offloads Marine Corps Cargo at Pearl Harbor
Marines offload a Cobra helicopter from the M/V Green Lake during discharge operations at Pearl Harbor on May 7.
May 17, 2019 - PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii -- 599th Transportation Brigade personnel facilitated offload of U.S. Marine

Amphibious Force 7th Fleet Holds Change of Command
Rear Adm. Fred Kacher, commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 7, relieves Rear Adm. Bradley Cooper aboard amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) during an Amphibious Force 7th Fleet change of command ceremony held aboard the flagship, May 17.  Commander, Amphibious Force 7th Fleet is the Navy’s only forward-deployed amphibious force, headquartered at White Beach Naval Facility in Okinawa, Japan, and is responsible for the full range of expeditionary operations from disaster relief to crisis response in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations
May 17, 2019 - SASEBO, Japan -- Rear Adm. Fred Kacher assumed command of Amphibious Force 7th Fleet from Rear Adm.

Airmen Exercise Readiness in Beverly Morning 19-01
374th Security Forces Squadron Airmen clear a building during an active shooter scenario during exercise Beverly Morning 19-01, May 13, 2019, at Yokota Air Base, Japan. Yokota Airmen participated in simulated war-time scenarios including active shooter scenario, rapid runway repair and a mass-casualty incident.
May 17, 2019 - YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Yokota Air Base members participated in the week-long readiness exercise

Camp Zama's JROTC Battalion Welcomes New Cadet Commander
Retired Lt. Col. Douglas Fields, right, a Zama JROTC instructor, passes the guidon to Cadet Lt. Col. Maxwell Orlosky, a junior at Zama American Middle High School, the incoming
May 17, 2019 - CAMP ZAMA, Japan -- Zama American Middle High School's Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps'

U.S., Allied Forces Begin La Perouse Exercises with French Aircraft Carrier in Gulf of Bengal
In this file photo, the French Marine Nationale aircraft carrier FS Charles De Gaulle (R91) transits the Red Sea, April 15, 2019. The John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points.
May 16, 2019 - GULF OF BENGAL -- Ships from the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force