DVIDS – News – Total Force Teamwork Leads to RIMPAC Success

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii — People tend to think of the U.S. military as one massive single unit, rather than complementary units working in unison. This is actually how the armed forces operate and nowhere is this concept more on display than during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022.

RIMPAC 2022, a biannual international maritime exercise, showcasing collaboration between 26 partner nations on a large scale. This is not its only function, however, as it also facilitates the opportunity for the various branches of the US armed forces to come together and learn from each other. RIMPAC is known as a maritime exercise by virtue of the U.S. Navy serving as the host service, and working with them is a key part of operations for all involved.

“There was a lot of coordination just from something as simple as making sure we had forklifts and vehicles to operate,” said Air Force Master Sgt. Terrelle Thomas, superintendent of maintenance production for the 29th Aircraft Maintenance Unit. “We had to work out how much airfield space we could actually have or what flight lines we can access.”

He said it could have been a logistical nightmare, but it was easy to work with the Navy and Marines from Marine Corps Air Force Base Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. All parties involved were able to find common ground by working towards a common goal.

“It was cool to see how they do different things,” Thomas said. “Some of our lingo is very different, but we all operate on the same principle: getting planes off the ground.”

He said that’s the best part of joint partnerships. It was the first time he had witnessed and received help from the Navy, but he said the only way forward for the Air Force was to maximize cooperation with other branches.

“If I can set up a location and talk to the right people and get the right equipment and the right things that I need and not have to rely on an Air Force base about 30 minutes away to get everything I need. need, I think it’s pretty good in the long run,” Thomas said.

U.S. Air National Guard Master Sgt. Julio Arana, an MQ-9A Reaper communications production superintendent assigned to the 163rd Maintenance Squadron, worked alongside other forward branches and saw value in providing assistance when needed.

“We’re showing other branches that we can support them,” Arana said. “We did it in the [area of responsibility] for the Marines and the Army for a very long time, but now we’re doing it here for the Navy as well, and they’ve never seen that look.

Because the Air Force is also not a singular structure, there is also a lot to learn at the interservice level, he said. RIMPAC 2022 marks the first appearance of the MQ-9A Reaper, a remotely piloted aircraft, and its presence has attracted military teams from California, New Mexico and Nevada.

With personnel from both the active duty element, reserves and Air National Guard, the collective group ensures it is fully operational. All the while, everyone is learning new techniques that will improve their day-to-day operations when they return home.

“If we don’t all work together here, we will die on the battlefield,” said the US Air Force technician. sergeant. Jacob Johnson, an aircraft armament systems craftsman with the 29th Aircraft Maintenance Unit. “I want all my guys to come together and be a family.”

This camaraderie would not have existed without the convergence of services and partner nations during RIMPAC 2022. Additionally, unmanned and remotely operated vessels expand the capability of interconnected manned platform sensors to enhance the combat capability of joint task forces multinationals.

Twenty-six nations, 38 ships, three submarines, more than 170 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC from June 29 to August 4 in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. The largest international maritime exercise in the world, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity while fostering and maintaining cooperative relationships among participants essential to keeping sea lanes safe and the world’s oceans safe. RIMPAC 2022 is the 28th exercise in the series which began in 1971.

Date taken: 21.07.2022
Date posted: 23.07.2022 16:22
Story ID: 425529

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