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Stennis Wraps Up RIMPAC, Pulses Forward to Western Pacific

Navy Newsstand

Story Number: NNS040726-01
Release Date: 7/26/2004 8:14:00 AM

By Lt. Corey Barker, USS John C. Stennis Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (NNS) -- After two weeks of intense multinational war games in the Pacific, the six ships and more than 60 aircraft of USS John C. Stennis Carrier (CVN 74) Strike Group (JCS CSG) pulled into Naval Station Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, July 22, successfully completing the biannual Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise.

Following the visit to Hawaii, the strike group will continue a scheduled summer deployment to the Western Pacific as part of Summer Pulse '04 (SP04), the Navy's first real world test of the Fleet Response Plan (FRP).

In all, 40 ships, seven submarines, 100 aircraft and nearly 18,000 Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Soldiers and Coast Guard personnel from seven countries participated in RIMPAC. The complex exercise focused on multinational training, and building trust and cooperation among the participants.

This year, the nuclear aircraft carrier John. C Stennis was the centerpiece of the exercise and flagship for the Multinational Task Force Commander, Rear Adm. Patrick Walsh, commander, Carrier Group 7.

"This is a unique opportunity to bring our Pacific allies together, and train how to operate and respond as one collective force," Walsh said.

He explained that the world we live in today requires swift multinational attention and deliberate action when responding to crisis.

"RIMPAC is important in that it focuses on building interoperability and cooperation with our allies and coalition partners in the region, so we are able to respond quickly and confidently to real world situations," Walsh said.

The strike group is scheduled to pulse forward on a scheduled deployment to the Western Pacific, further testing the Navy's Fleet Response Plan. While port visits and the duration of the deployment are still undecided, the strike group remains prepared to stay on station for as long as needed.

SP04, which began in early June, is the Navy's first full scale exercise of its new operational construct to simultaneously deploy seven carrier strike groups on a global scale. The exercise demonstrates the Navy's capability to provide substantial naval power to respond to crisis, deter aggression and ensure stability.

"At one point in time, simply having a flagpole or the brick and mortar associated with a shore installation, or a routine, predictable deployment pattern, would be deterrent enough," Walsh said. "And what we learned after 9/11 is that predictability now becomes our very vulnerability."

The JCS CSG includes the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), Aegis-equipped guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57), Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Howard (DDG 83), guided-missile frigate USS Ford (FFG 54), Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Salt Lake City (SSN 716) and the replenishment ship USNS Rainier (T-AOE 7). All of the ships of the JCS CSG are homeported in San Diego, with the exception of Ford, homeported in Everett, Wash., and Rainier, homeported in Bremerton, Wash.

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