Air, land, and sea forces from Japan and the United States sank the decommissioned amphibious transport dock ship USS Denver last week during the giant Rim of the Pacific exercise, the Navy announced Tuesday.
The second live-fire exercise during RIMPAC took place 50 nautical miles north of Kauai, the same location where a decommissioned frigate was sunk on July 12.
From the land, the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force and U.S. Army shot Type 12 surface-to-ship missiles and HIMARS rockets.
From the air, U.S. Navy F/A-18F Super Hornets shot a long range anti-ship missile; Army AH-64 Apache helicopters shot air-to-ground Hellfire missiles, rockets, and 30mm guns; and Marine Corps F/A-18C/D Hornets fired an air-launched cruise missile, air-to-surface anti-radiation missiles, and joint direct attack munitions.
Finally, from the sea, the U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Chaffee shot its Mark 45 5-inch gun.
“It was a bittersweet moment for me, having served aboard USS Denver during my career. But what a way for her to go out! This exercise shows the power of partnerships in the region.” said Marine Brig. Gen. Joseph R. Clearfield.
The ship, which was decommissioned in 2014, sank in 15,000 feet of water.
“This sink-at-the-sea exercise demonstrates current operational capabilities and tactical skills, and provides a valuable opportunity to coordinate and collaborate between Japanese Type 12 Surface-to-Ship Missiles and the U.S. Army High Mobility Artillery Rocket System to conduct a live fire and comprehensive exercise,” said Japanese Maj. Gen. Shigeo Kaida.
Twenty-six nations, 38 ships, three submarines, more than 170 aircraft, more than 30 unmanned systems and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC from June 29 to Aug. 4 in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California.