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Hawaii Hosts Seventh Annual Asia-Pacific Submarine Conference

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070831-09
Release Date: 8/31/2007 12:12:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class (AW) Eric J. Cutright, Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

WAIKIKI, Hawaii (NNS) -- Thirteen nations, including the United States, sent representatives of their submarine forces to the Seventh Annual Asia-Pacific Submarine Conference Aug. 27-29 at the Hilton Hawaiian Villages Hotel in Waikiki.

The conference, hosted by Rear Adm. Joseph A. Walsh, Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, is designed to foster regional cooperation and develop and maintain relationships among Asia-Pacific submarine operators in submarine escape and rescue.

“One of the things that we’ve found is that many of the nations around the world have submarine rescue assets and collectively, we have a tremendous capability. Individually, however, each nation really can’t afford to just do it on their own, particularly in the Pacific where distance is such a factor in terms of the timeline of submarine rescue,” stated Walsh.

In his speech to conference participants, Adm. Robert F. Willard, Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, stressed the importance of exchanging information on submarine rescues.

“Submarine rescue is a race with time ... sometimes hours and sometimes days. We rarely have more than that. The principles that will make us successful in submarine rescue are common procedures, communications protocols and navy-to-navy relationships that build trust and confidence.

“When this conference concludes, you must have made a difference for our submariners. If we leave here better equipped and more ready to coordinate rescue operations ... more ready to win the race with time, you will have achieved something,” said Willard.

Topics discussed in the submariner conference ranged from the technical differences among the 29 different submarine classes, and rescue timelines based on the amount of carbon dioxide absorbent carried and the size of the submarine’s crew, which can also be a deciding factor on how long the crew survives.

“This conference has proven to be very informative to the officers who belong to the submarine fleet, the ‘silent service.' Almost 50 officers are here to share their experience and development, especially in the form of coordination, escape and rescue. I think that this is a great opportunity for all of us,” stated Pakistan Navy Commodore Shah Sohail Masood, Commander, Submarine Force, Pakistan Navy.

Among the nations in attendance were Australia, Canada, Chile, China, France, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand, United Kingdom and the United States.

“What’s tremendous about submarine escape and rescue is that it really knows no national boundaries. All countries that operate submarines have [such] a bond between submariners that we don’t care what country the distressed submarines are from, we will bring all the assets to bare to help each other out,” said Walsh.

Willard summed up the essence of global cooperation in international submarine rescue for this conference.

“After all, providing assistance to a mariner in distress is at the very core of our shared naval traditions,” he said.

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