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Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Completes Participation in Pacific Reach 2004

SUBPAC Release

Release Date: 5/20/2004

By COMSUBPAC Public Affairs Office

Jinhae, Korea --USS La Jolla (SSN 701), the Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle (DSRV) Mystic, as well as USS Safeguard (ARS 50) successfully participated in Pacific Reach 2004. The U. S. Navy worked together with submarines and rescue vessels from South Korea, Japan, and Australia.

"The ROK Navy has done an excellent job in coordinating this event. It's been an incredible exercise and one that is critical for the submarine community as it becomes more necessary for navies to work together in rescue operations," said Capt. Russell Ervin, national coordinator for the exercise.

As the mother ship, USS La Jolla, a Los Angeles class attack submarine, was the transport vessel for the Mystic and worked closely with the Deep Submergence Unit,which is responsible for Mystic. During the exercise, Mystic successfully mated, a process where the DSRV connects to a disabled submarine to safely transfer personnel, and rescued the ROKS Choimoosun (SS-063) and JDS Sachishio (SS-582).

"I'm extremely proud of my crew for their hard work and effort in making this exercise a success. My crew and DSU's worked together as a team from the start. La Jolla has had the honor of participating in two of the three Pacific Reach exercises, and this was the first open hatch operation conducted with the US DSRV and Japanese and Korean submarines," said Cmdr. Brian Howes, commanding officer, USS La Jolla.

During the exercise, observers from Canada, China, Chile, India, Indonesia, Thailand, and the United Kingdom observed the rescue operations and also participated in the medical symposium prior to getting underway.

Pacific Reach 2004 is the third in a series of bi-annual exercises designed to promote cooperation and interoperability in the area of submarine rescue, enhancing the ability to provide mutual humanitarian assistance in the unlikely event a submarine becomes disabled and is not able to return to the surface on its own.

The DSRV was originally designed to give the United States Navy a primary submarine escape capability. Its mission is to provide a quick reaction, worldwide, all-weather capability to rescue personnel from disabled submarines at depths up to 2,000 ft. The DSRV has a maximum operating depth of approximately 5,000 ft.



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