Submarine Group 7 Sailors and Organizations Around the World Participate in SMASHEX

Story Number: NNS140904-17Release Date: 9/4/2014 10:49:00 PM
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By Lt. Cmdr. Aaron Kakiel, Commander, Submarine Group 7 Public Affairs

FLEET ACTIVITIES YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- Sailors from Submarine Group 7 and organizations around the world participated in a training and response for Simulated Submarine Casualty Exercise (SMASHEX) at Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Aug. 27-28.

SMASHEX is a table top exercise to test procedures and practices required in the very unlikely event of a submarine search, escape and rescue.

Several external groups participated in the exercise including the International Submarine Escape and Rescue Liaison Office (ISMERLO) and the U.S. Navy Undersea Rescue Command (URC).

Several countries including Australia and the Republic of Korea monitored and actively participated in the exercise via the ISMERLO website.

This year's SMASHEX focused on the steps necessary to mobilize for a rescue. Responders coordinated which platforms would be available and the estimated time to first rescue through the ISMERLO website.

Within Minutes of the initial alert, responders from around the world were offering assistance and working together on a plan for rescue.

The exercise put Sailors in a self-training environment and helped them develop watch stander familiarity with submarine rescue procedures and publications. It also gave them the opportunity to familiarize themselves with ISMERLO processes and website,

The site displays the status of rescue systems and whether or not they're in operation. Depending on where the disaster is, it has calculators to help determine how to get the particular rescue assets or any other kind of support assets to the disaster, how long it will take to get there and what support assets need to be arranged in order to get the rescue asset to where the disaster happened. There are chat rooms on it for sharing information and status boards about last known locations or areas of uncertainty.

The exercise helped Sailors understand coordination required for search and rescue operations and evaluated watch team's capabilities to provide accurate and timely information to outside agencies and nations, including working with the media.

Every submarine operating authority is required to do a SMASHEX once a year.

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