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

Summer 2004 Cover of Undersea Warfare Magazine

On the Cover


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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

RIMPAC 2004 Enhances Stability and Increases Interoperability in the Pacific Rim

Australia’s Collins-class submarine, HMAS Rankin (SSK-78) stands out to sea at periscope depth to participate in exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2004. RIMPAC was the largest international maritime exercise ever held in the waters around the Hawaiian Islands. This year’s exercise includes seven participating nations: Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, South Korea, United Kingdom and United States. RIMPAC is intended to increase the tactical proficiency of participating units in a wide array of combined operations at sea, while enhancing
stability in the Pacific Rim region.

Photo by PH1 David A. Levy

Every two years, thousands of Sailors from the allied countries in the Pacific theater converge on Hawaii for the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise.

For RIMPAC 2004, more than 18,000 personnel onboard submarines and surface ships from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Japan, South Korea and Chile tested their capabilities in a collaborative maritime effort. The naval assets for RIMPAC 2004 included four U.S. Pacific Fleet nuclear-powered attack submarines, USS Key West (SSN-722), USS Louisville (SSN-724), USS Charlotte (SSN-766), and USS Olympia (SSN-717)), four allied-force diesel submarines, and the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74). Approximately 100 aircraft also participated in the month-long exercise.

According to CAPT Russ Janicke, Deputy Commander of Submarine Squadron 3, this year’s RIMPAC provided an excellent opportunity for gaining anti-submarine warfare (ASW) experience for the submarines and ships involved. “It’s particularly good for our submarines, because we get to interact with some of the allied diesel boats. Four of them are here for the exercise this year. It’s very unique, because it [the exercise] only happens every two years, and this is one of the larger RIMPACs we have had in a long time,” said Janicke.

Since RIMPAC occurs on a regular basis, past experience and present-day issues are used to develop realistic scenarios for all participants. “We try to take lessons learned, and as we gear up for the exercise, we try to integrate those lessons and any new technology that has emerged. The most important thing about RIMPAC is just sitting down and talking to fellow Sailors and officers from the allied navies about tactics and phases of the exercise; we learn an awful lot,” Janicke said.

As technology changes, the Submarine Force has changed along with it and has increasingly adopted COTS developments, which have made real-time decision-making among submarine, surface and air assets a reality. “COTS technology is a key part in this RIMPAC 2004. I look back to the RIMPAC of 2000 I participated in as Commanding Officer of USS Louisville and we didn’t have that. My ability to interact was pretty limited. In the four years since then, we have made huge advances in COTS communication, sonar, and fire control technology,” said Janicke.

In addition to incorporating the latest warfighting technology, the inherent stealth of the participating allied diesel submarines represented a key element of real world threats for the various vessels in the exercise.

According to Janicke, “COMSUBPAC plays a key role in RIMPAC. There has been a reinvigoration of ASW. The submarines are important since they play both aggressor and hunters to provide training platforms toward the overall fleet goal of improving ASW. With three of our nuclear-powered attack submarines and four allied diesel submarines, that’s far more than we’ve had in past exercises. It really challenges the various forces to be able to handle that undersea threat, and it ties in very well with our fleet goal of improving our ASW capability.”

Because the allied naval forces have had the opportunity to incorporate the use of so many different assets, including diesel submarines, the ultimate result of their experiences will be measured when the time comes to put their efforts forth in a coalition force.

“Our biggest goal is to increase interoperability and communications with our allied forces. One of the most important aspects of completing RIMPAC is that we have the ability, on relatively short notice, to work with any of our allies. It becomes a real force multiplier,” said Janicke.

The navies are teaming together to employ lessons learned in the Global War on Terrorism while honing warfighting skills to continue the fight, said high-level naval leaders at the June 29 press conference. “That’s a significant part of this exercise,” said Vice Adm. Michael J. McCabe, Commander, U.S. THIRD Fleet and RIMPAC Commander, Combined Task Force. “It always has been, and it’s never been more important than now.”

In terms of overall effectiveness, Janicke is convinced that no matter what, the esprit de corps among the allied naval participants is so strong that their combined efforts will be able to deal effectively with anything that threatens the use of sea-lanes and the citizens of the allied countries.

Janicke concluded, “As I watched as one of the allied submarines came in to Pearl Harbor, I was thinking about the Global War on Terrorism. It convinces me that those guys [terrorists] are never going to win. We have some pretty good friends and they’re willing to help us out.”

JOC Rush is the Force Journalist serving under Commander, Naval Submarine Forces.

Photo caption below

Photo caption below

Chilean Submarine CS Simpson (SS-21) prepares to render honors to the USS Arizona Memorial as
the submarine pulls into port in Pearl Harbor.

Line handlers aboard the Japanese submarine Narushio (SS-595) secure lines after arriving
in Pearl Harbor for a port call.