Undersea Warfare The Official Magazine of the U.S. Submarine Force

Summer 2004 Cover of Undersea Warfare Magazine

On the Cover


Submit Feedback

Submit An Article

Summer 2004/Archives

U.S. Submarine... Beacause Stealth Matters


Washington Watch


Operational Depth

Ships At Sea

Letters to the Editor


6th Annual Undersea Warfare Photo Contest Winners

Former Commander-in-Chief Christens PCU Jimmy Carter

Hard-charging and Persistent: The Crew of PCU Virginia Looks Ahead

Pacific Reach 2004
U.S. Foreign Navies Practice Submarine Rescue, Foster Cooperation and Improve Interoperability

SSGN Conversions: Embodying the Sea Power 21 Vision

Heading North!
Traveling the Artic Region, U.S. Submarines Find Adventure, New Challenges, and New Friends

Saviors and Suppliers: World War II Submarine Speacial Operations in the Phillippines

Enhances Stability and Increases Interoperability in the Pacific Rim

Those in Peril - the S-5 Incident

Bringing Science to Life
Teaching Science Using Submarine Technology and the ex-USS Narwhal (SSN-671)

2004 Force Organization Map

Submarine Force Links

Director, Submarine Warfare

Commander, Naval Submarine Forces

Commander, Submarine Force Pacific Fleet

Navy News Stand

Undersea Warfare Photo Contest



Undersea Warfare 2003 CHINFO Merit Award

Pacific Reach 2004 U.S. Foreign Navies Practice Submarine Rescue, Foster Cooperation and Improve Interoperability

by LT Kyung "KC" Choi, USN

Although more than 170 submarines have been lost worldwide in non-combat operations in the past hundred years, it was the August 2000 Kursk tragedy, which resulted in the death of the entire crew, that was the catalyst for the submarine community worldwide to begin training together and pooling resources to create a truly international solution to the problem of submarine rescue.

Photo of submarine in distance

In an effort to promote cooperation and interoperability in the area of submarine rescue in Asian waters, USS La Jolla (SSN-701), acting as the mother submarine (MOSUB) for the U. S. Navy’s Deep Sub-mergence Rescue Vehicle (DSRV) Mystic, the Deep Submergence Unit (DSU) from Submarine Development Squadron Five (SUBDEVRON 5), and USS Safeguard (ARS-50) participated in Pacific Reach 2004 this May. The exercise, held in the Eastern Sea near Cheju Island, Korea, practices the ability to mobilize assets worldwide in the unlikely event a submarine becomes disabled and is not able to return to the surface on its own.

Pacific Reach 2004 is the third in this a series of bi-annual exercises. Similar to NATO’s Sorbet Royale, Pacific Reach 2004 is specifically designed to bring together nations that operate submarines in Asian waters. The 2002 exercise was conducted in Sasebo, Japan and the 2000 exercise in Singapore. VADM Sung Man Kim, Commander-in-Chief, Republic of Korea Navy said, during the opening ceremony, “I’m confident we’ll be able to enhance the level of submarine rescue operations by familiarizing rescue procedures, sharing information on each navy’s rescue assets, rescue operations, techniques, and medical treatments.”

Pacific Reach has a number of goals, including enhancing submarine rescue capability, fostering mutual trust among participating countries, demonstrating capability and interoperability among participating submarine and submarine rescue vehicles, and developing submarine rescue techniques. It also provides rescue vehicle pilots and operators with training opportunities in actual conditions, increases familiarity with other participating countries’ submarine rescue equipment, and develops new mating and rescue procedures.

According to CAPT Russell Ervin, from SUBDEVRON 5, “Pacific Reach 04 is a showcase for both the cooperation and growing organic capability that Asian submarining nations are building. Many rescue techniques are unique to Asia, having evolved from the immense distances and variable operating conditions of the Pacific.

“From arctic to tropical waters, from reef and shoal-littered littorals to the deepest blue water in the world, those navies operating in Asian waters contend with the most challenging operating theater on the planet. Asian navies are emerging as submarine rescue thought leaders and have a great deal to offer the international community. Several Asian nations are in the process of sending submariners to the International Submarine Escape and Rescue Liaison Office (ISMERLO) located in Norfolk, Virginia. In Asia, especially due to the distances and limited rescue assets, we depend on one another more than other areas of the world,” he added.

Worldwide interest in this event has grown to five participating and eight obser- ving countries. Gathered at Jinhae, Korea, on the southeast coast of the country and home base to the Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy, the U.S. participated with the navies of Japan, Australia, and Singapore. Observing nations included Canada, China, Chile, France, India, Indonesia, Thailand, and the United Kingdom.

The major assets provided by the other countries included:

  • ROKS Hwachun (AOE-59)
  • ROKS Cheonghaejin (ASR-21)
  • ROKS Choimoosun (SS-063)
  • JDS Chiyoda (AS-405)
  • JDS Sachishio (SS-582)
  • HMAS Rankin (SS-78)


Photo caption below

Photo caption below

Pacific Reach 2004 has numerous goals, including enhancing submarine rescue capability and developing submarine rescue techniques. Here the Mystic riding USS La Jolla on pylons, prepares to commence its rescue exercise.

Mystic (DSRV-1) is hoisted off the pylons after Pacific Reach 2004. The exercise practices the ability
to mobilize assets worldwide in the event a submarine is unable to surface on its own.


Pacific Reach 2004 Next Page>>