DVIDS – News – U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Midgett Concludes At-Sea Phase of RIMPAC, Prepares for Western Pacific Patrol

HONOLULU – The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Midgett (WMSL 757) has completed its participation in the maritime phase of RIMPAC 2022 after scoring a series of significant “firsts” for Coast Guard assets.

RIMPAC 2022 featured the exercise’s first mass rescue operation, the first time a Coast Guard Cutter led a combined task force, the first time a Coast Guard Cutter embarked an MH-60R Seahawk from the United States Navy and the first modern Coast Guard participation in anti-submarine warfare exercises.

Midgett’s crew worked with U.S. Coast Guard Cutter William Hart (WPC 1134), Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ship Izumo, and USS Essex (LHD 2) to find, recover, and provide medical assistance to ten simulated people in the water.

Following the mass rescue operation, Midgett’s commanding officer, Capt. Willie Carmichael, served as commanding officer of Combined Task Force 175, consisting of Midgett, USS Chafee (DDG 90), USS Gridley (DDG 101), French Navy frigate FS Prairial, and Peruvian Navy BAP Guise, the first time a Coast Guard has led one of the RIMPAC task forces.

The task force has carried out a wide range of combat, humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations focused on improving interchangeability and coordination with partner nations and allies.

Midgett was the first Coast Guard Cutter to fly a US Navy MH-60R Seahawk helicopter. Seahawk’s Romeo model features folding rotors and tail, keeping the helicopter safe in the hangar of Legend-class cutters like Midgett. This successful test provided valuable information that the Coast Guard and Navy can use for joint operations in the future. During the exercise, Midgett also conducted air operations with helicopters from FS Prairial and USS Chafee. Transverse flight operations improve the safety of future rescue and assistance operations.

Midgett’s boat crews conducted non-compliant ship pursuit demonstrations with crew members from FS Prairial and US Navy vessels. Demonstrated tactics are essential in Coast Guard counter-smuggling operations, as well as in the enforcement of safety and security zones. French warships and the Navy frequently participate in counter-smuggling operations in the Eastern Pacific, Indian Ocean and Caribbean.

Throughout the exercise, Midgett conducted replenishment-at-sea operations with United States and New Zealand Navy logistics support vessels. Replenishment at sea is critical to trans-Pacific partnerships and collaboration, and Midgett is likely to work with HMNZS Aotearoa for additional replenishment operations during Midgett’s upcoming Western Pacific patrol.

In the second part of the at-sea exercise, Midgett acted as an opposing force using shipboard RADAR, shipboard helicopter and Link 16 advanced communications system to track and chase other ships from the operational force. Midgett landed nine “constructive hits”, providing targeting information to allied assets, resulting in immediate simulated hits. This phase of the partnership included ships and assets from the United States, Japan, Australia, Chile, India, Indonesia, Mexico and South Korea, although the exercise took place in the waters around a fictional nation invented for exercise.

After RIMPAC, Midgett goes on patrol in the western Pacific. They will focus on supporting maritime governance in the Western Pacific, reaffirming and publicly demonstrating alignment with the multinational rules-based international order in the region. Midgett seeks to strengthen the rule of law at sea in collaboration with regional law enforcement agencies and foster regional partnerships.

“It was an honor to represent the U.S. Coast Guard and work alongside capable and adaptable partners during RIMPAC 2022 and build mutual trust,” said Midgett’s commanding officer, Capt. Willie Carmichael.

“Leading a combined task force and supporting the humanitarian mass rescue and disaster relief operation has shown the relevance of the capabilities and interoperability of the U.S. Coast Guard with our partner naval services.

Twenty-six nations, 38 ships, three submarines, more than 170 aircraft and 25,000 people are participating in RIMPAC 2022 from June 29 to August 4 in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. The largest international maritime exercise in the world, RIMPAC 2022 provides a unique training opportunity while fostering and nurturing cooperative relationships among participants essential to keeping sea lanes safe and the world’s oceans safe. RIMPAC 2022 is the 28th exercise in the series which began in 1971.

Date taken: 29.07.2022
Date posted: 31.07.2022 19:43
Story ID: 426142

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