Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Realistic Scenario Accentuate Naval War Games

Next month the multinational coalition "Blue" forces will try to enforce United Nations sanctions to prevent country "Orange" from overtaking country "Green." "Blue" forces include the U.S. Pacific Fleet, Australia, Canada, Chile, South Korea, Peru, the United Kingdom and Japan. It is part of the scenario driving this summer's Rim of the Pacific naval war games -- the 20th since 1971 -- which begin today and run through July 28. The games will involve 35 warships, six submarines, 160 aircraft and 19,000 personnel. The centerpiece of the U.S. armada will be the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln -- among 19 U.S. warships, three submarines, 140 aircraft and 11,500 service members participating in the war games. It is one of the largest RIMPAC war games in recent years, and the Lingle administration estimates it will mean a $29.9 million economic boost to Hawaii's tourism industry.Lt. Rob Lyon, 3rd Fleet spokesman, said the scenario involving fictitious Pacific countries "Green" and "Orange" is "to add realism to the exercise. These are not real countries, but it helps us since this is the type of environment that we may have to operate in the future." In the current scenario, countries "Orange" and "Green" used to be one country. But in 1991, during the "velvet revolution," "Green" separated from "Orange." Since then, using terrorist tactics, "Orange" has tried to destabilize the political situation in "Green" so it can take it over. "Green" is considered a liberal democracy without a military. Lyon said the United Nations has ordered that "Orange" withdraw its terrorists from "Green." The U.N. also has authorized the "Blue" coalition forces -- the RIMPAC navies -- to maintain open waterways around the two countries and prevent "Orange" from sending arms and troops into "Green."Helicopter assault landings at various Oahu military installations as well as an amphibious beach landing at Bellows Air Force Station will be part of the "Blue" forces' attempts to enforce the U.N. sanctions against "Orange." Before the "free play" naval war games between "Orange" and "Green" begin on July 17, the U.S. and Pacific Rim naval forces will spend 10 days in waters off Oahu and Kauai in numerous exercises including live missile firings, torpedo firings, gunnery exercises, air defense, surface warfare, undersea warfare, maritime boardings, mine warfare, anti-submarine warfare and amphibious operations. Lyon said because the Japanese Constitution allows its forces only to train with U.S. ships, the four Japanese destroyers and one diesel submarine will be deployed north of Oahu for their training operations. "The rest of the multinational forces will be in the south," Lyon said. During the training phase, naval surface and air weapons will be used to sink the amphibious assault ship USS Belleau Wood, ammunition ship USS Mauna Kea, combat stores ship USNS Mars and a sludge removal barge.This also is the first time the U.S. and Pacific Rim nations will be operating under a noise permit issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that restricts where warships can use sonar, to prevent possible harm to marine mammals. The Navy said these rules only apply to this summer's naval games. The ships also have been given orders that require them to lower the power of their sonar when they come in contact with whales, dolphins and porpoises.
Star 1,000 personnel
Star 2 surface ships, 1 submarine, 3 aircraft
Star Dive Team and Infantry Company

Star 1,150 personnel
Star 3 surface ships, 9 aircraft
Star Clearance Diver Team

Star 250 personnel
Star 1 surface ship

Star 1,250 personnel
Star 4 surface ships, 1 submarine, 8 aircraft

Star 650 personnel
Star 2 surface ships, 1 submarine, 1 aircraft

Star 250 personnel
Star 1 surface ship

Star 25 personnel
Star Mine Countermeasures Dive Team

Star 11,500 personnel
Star 1 nuclear aircraft carrier and embarked air wing, 18 surface ships, 3 submarines, 140-plus aircraft
Star Dive/bomb disposal teams

Air Force
Star 350 personnel
Star Kenney HQ Combined Air Ops Center
Star B-1/B-52 Missions
Star Radar plane and tanker support

Star 50 personnel
Star Pohakuloa Training Area

Marine Corps
Star 1,850 personnel
Star 1 Air-Ground Task Force (Infantry, Armor, Engineer, Artillery)
Star 8 CH-53 helicopters

National Guard
Star 300 personnel
Star Hawaii Air National Guard: 8 F-15As
Star 6 F-16Cs from the Colorado Air National Guard

Coast Guard
Star 100 personnel
Star 1 cutter, boarding teams, helicopters

Star Ecuador
Star India
Star Malaysia
Star Singapore

Star Thursday- next Monday: Briefings at Pearl Harbor
Star July 5-6: Ships leave Pearl Harbor and begin live-fire exercises. Three ships -- USS Belleau Wood, USS Mauna Kea, USNS Mars -- and a barge will be sunk by surface and air weapons.
Star July 17: Tactical free play involving countries "Orange" and "Green."
Star July 28: End of RIMPAC

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