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U.S. Forces Conduct Sinking Exercise

18 August 2021
PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii – U.S. joint forces conducted coordinated multi-domain, multi-axis, long-range maritime strikes in the Hawaiian Islands Operating Area during a sinking exercise on the decommissioned guided missile frigate ex-USS Ingraham, Aug. 15.

Units from Vinson Carrier Strike Group (VINCSG), Submarine Forces Pacific, 1 Marine Expeditionary Force/3rd Marine Air Wing, III Marine Expeditionary/3rd Marine Division, and U.S. Army Multi-Domain Task Force participated in the joint, live-fire exercise.

“Lethal combat power was effectively applied to a variety of maritime threats over the last two weeks in a simulated environment as part of the Navy’s Large Scale Exercise and expertly demonstrated Sunday with live ordnance,” said U.S. 3rd Fleet Commander Vice Adm. Steve Koehler. “The precise and coordinated strikes from the Navy and our Joint teammates resulted in the rapid destruction and sinking of the target ship and exemplify our ability to decisively apply force in the maritime battlespace.”

Former Navy vessels used in sinking exercises, referred to as hulks, are prepared in strict compliance with regulations prescribed and enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency under a general permit the Navy holds pursuant to the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act.

VIDEO | 01:26 | Pacific Fleet forces conduct SINKEX as part of Large Scale Exercise 2021 PACIFIC OCEAN (Aug. 15, 2021) U.S. joint forces conduct coordinated multi-domain, multi-platform, long-range maritime strikes on the decommissioned guided-missile frigate Ingraham in the Hawaiian Islands Operating Area as part of Large Scale Exercise (LSE) 21. During the sinking exercise, USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) launched F/A-18E/F Super Hornets to test the Joint Standoff Weapon; F-35C Joint Strike Fighters employed laser guided weapons; P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft tested the Harpoon weapon system; and the fast-attack submarine USS Chicago (SSN 721) fired a UGM-84 anti-ship Harpoon missile and a MK 48 Advanced Capability torpedo. The U.S. Marine Corps launched Naval Strike Missiles from the Pacific Missile Range Facility Barking Sands, along with AGM-84 Harpoons from a division of F/A-18C Hornets. LSE 21 provided the opportunity to demonstrate technological innovations that are enabling advanced “kill-web” and emerging service warfighting concepts such as Expeditionary Advanced Basing Operations, and capabilities that allow the joint force to accelerate the speed and precision of delivering complex, simultaneous, multi-domain, multi-platform anti-surface warfare fires when and where desired. (U.S. Navy and Marine Corps video)

Each exercise is required to sink the hulk in at least 1,000 fathoms (6,000 feet) of water and at least 50 nautical miles from land and surveys are conducted to safeguard against harm to people or marine mammals during the event. Prior to being transported for participation in a sinking exercise, each vessel is put through a rigorous cleaning process for environmental safety and is inspected to ensure the ship meets EPA requirements.

Ex-Ingraham was a guided missile frigate commissioned on Aug. 5, 1989, and was decommissioned on Jan. 30, 2015. The ship was named for Duncan Nathaniel Ingraham and is the fourth Navy ship with the namesake. It is the second of its name to be used in a sinking exercise; ex-USS Ingraham (DD 694), which was decommissioned in 1971 and sold to the Greek Navy, was sunk in 2001.

As an integral part of U.S. Pacific Fleet, U.S. 3rd Fleet operates naval forces in the Indo-Pacific in addition to providing realistic and relevant training necessary to execute our Navy's timeless roles of sea control and power projection. U.S. 3rd Fleet works in close coordination with other numbered Fleets to provide commanders with capable, ready forces to deploy forward and win in day-to-day competition, in crisis, and in conflict.


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