MSC Training Operations at RIMPAC 2024

9 July 2024

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The Military Sealift Command (MSC) is integral to the 2024 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) maritime exercise, focusing on training and operational support throughout July in Hawaii. MSC's involvement centers around providing comprehensive logistics and replenishment services to participating ships, ensuring smooth operations and effective training for all involved.

The exercise fosters international cooperation, enabling MSC to refine logistics skills and build relationships with global naval partners, ensuring preparedness for future operations.

RIMPAC, hosted by Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet and executed by Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, involves 29 nations, 40 surface ships, three submarines, 14 national land forces, over 150 aircraft, and more than 25,000 personnel from June 26 to August 2. This year’s exercise emphasizes collaborative training and operational excellence in a multinational maritime environment.

Key MSC assets in RIMPAC 2024 include the fleet replenishment oilers USNS Pecos (T-AO 197) and the dry cargo/ammunition ship USNS Washington Chambers (T-AKE 11). These ships will supply aviation fuel, diesel ship fuel, and various food supplies to the exercise participants, simulating real-world replenishment scenarios. Additionally, MSC chartered tanker ships MT Overseas Mykonos and MT Allied Pacific will perform at-sea fuel replenishment operations. This element of the exercise is particularly vital following the closure of the Navy's Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility, allowing Combat Logistics Force (CLF) ships to practice receiving fuel at sea and providing continuous logistical support.

In preparation for sinking exercises (SINKEX), the MSC rescue and salvage ship USNS Grasp (T-ARS 51) will deliver two decommissioned Navy ships, Ex-Dubuque (LPD 8) and Ex-Tarawa (LHA 1), to the designated target area. This operation provides training opportunities for handling large vessels and conducting complex towing maneuvers.

MSC Pacific’s Headquarters Unit contributes five members serving as watch standers, responsible for detailed planning and coordination of replenishment-at-sea operations. These reservists are crucial in organizing rendezvous locations and times for MSC's CLF ships and chartered tankers, as well as coordinating towing operations with USNS Grasp. This role enhances their strategic planning and operational coordination skills.

At sea, 24 members of the MSC Cargo Afloat Rig Team (CART) will support logistics operations, working closely with civil service mariner crews. This collaboration offers hands-on training for underway replenishment, a critical skill for sustaining naval operations. The exercise allows MSC personnel to train in a dynamic, multinational environment, enhancing their readiness and operational capabilities.

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