The CNO seeks not only interoperability, but also interchangeability with foreign armed forces

ON BOARD THE USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN IN THE PACIFIC OCEAN-The top US Navy officer is setting a new bar for coalition operations: not just interoperability, but interchangeability. one the key to this is understanding exactly what each warship and fleet is capable of – and how they rate it themselves.

So as Adm. Mike Gilday flew ship-to-ship during the Crimea Pacific exercise off Hawaii last week, the chief of naval operations asked commanders “how they seek real-time feedback for the forces they command, from all countries”.

“In other words, I’m interested in ships being honest with themselves, regardless of the country they’re working with, in terms of their strengths and weaknesses. What they need to support and what they need to work on,” Gilday said Defense alone after visiting the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln and the Japanese helicopter carrier Izuma on Friday. And, he said, “I often use the word interchangeability with allies and partners because I want them to strive for that. And what I mean by that … is that an ally or a partner, their ships can perform an operational role just as well as a US ship.”

The exercise should be about more than just the image of 26 countries coming together, Gilday said. “We also have to study here. So, my main focus is that these are simply not Potemkin classes. It really makes sense,” he said.

CNO has highlighted some of the firsts for countries in RIMPAC. A South Korean admiral was driving the amphibious vehicle task force. The Australians led the logistics exercise. And the integration of unmanned platforms. It showed, he said, that they were “setting the bar higher” for engagement and that “it’s not just a show.”

Despite the fact that some heads of defense have singled out lessons Based on the war in Ukraine over the past few months, RIMPAC leaders said the exercise did not include any concrete tactical lessons from the war, in part because planners had not presented new ideas until February.

The message that RIMPAC is sending is not specifically for China, Gilday said, “it is aimed more broadly than China, around the world for anyone who wants to see the power of like-minded people coming together.”

USS Abraham Lincoln

Departing from Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii in a CMV-22B Osprey, Gilday made his first visit to Lincoln, nearly 200 days into his deployment. During the exercise, the carrier primarily provided aircraft for air defense, said Capt. Amy Bauernschmidt, the ship’s commanding officer.

The RIMPAC carrier task force is working on the fundamentals of warfighting, such as maritime security, sea control, anti-submarine warfare and air defense, and is preparing to “bring it all together” in the final phase of the exercise, the rear admiral said. Jeffrey Anderson, commander of Carrier Strike Group 3.

Lincoln also has the first squadron of Marine Corps F-35C Lightning II fighter jets deployed on an aircraft carrier. Bauernschmidt and Anderson said fifth-generation aircraft are game-changers, particularly the aircraft’s ability to collect data and transmit it to forces.

“We’re still learning how to use the A. in the carrier wing, and how to support it,” Anderson said. “This is only the second deployment of the F-35C, and so we’re still learning some of those lessons. But in terms of the integration of the opportunity, it was really great.”

When Gilday spoke to the ship’s commanders, he asked about the carrier’s time with the 7th Fleet and how China would react to its presence, especially when it works with a sister carrier Carl Vinson. Bauernschmidt said the Chinese warship followed them most of the time with the 7th Fleet, but it acted in a professional manner, typical of PLAN ships in the area.

Anderson said he told Gilday that their deployment served as a reminder that carrier strike groups “remain the primary flexible response option” for leaders.

“We’ve seen that in our deployment, response and response, deterring China and also North Korea and then Russia,” he said.

Gilday also met with sailors to hear their concerns and held an awards and re-enlistment ceremony in the hangar bay.

The ship’s nurse Lt. Commander was present at the ceremonies. Dana Flieger, who helped evacuate two sailors who were badly burned On July 17, there was a fire in the engine room on the Peruvian corvette Guise. They were taken to the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Midget, where Flieger and others stabilized them and sent them on for more help.

“Ours [certified registered nurse anesthetist] ended with the intubation of one of the patients, which saved his life,” she said. “And then we moved them to the Tripler [Army Medical Center], it’s about a 90-minute flight where we kept reassessing them, giving them medicine. So this was definitely one of the hardest, if not the hardest, transports I’ve ever done. It’s like the patients are in a very critical condition and they’re badly burned.”

It was Flieger’s first time working with the U.S. Coast Guard, and the Peruvian Navy sent interpreters to help.

“I was very impressed with everyone’s performance. And even though it was our first time working together, everything went very smoothly,” she said. “Everyone was willing to help and everyone wanted only the best for the sailors. So I thought it went very well.”

JS Izumo

From the Lincoln, Gilday went aboard the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s Izumo, a helicopter carrier similar in size to the US Navy’s amphibious assault ship America. He had heard about their work in RIMPAC’s Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Management Division and their previous training.

The leaders also told him about their efforts to modify the ship and its sister, the Who, to fly the F-35B. Last October, a US Marine Corps pilot is conducted first F-35B landing and launch at Izumo. Part of the conversion involves extending the runway by 35 meters.

Gilday inspected its command centers, bridge, and hangar bay and asked about the ship’s crew. Compared to the hustle and bustle of the Lincoln, the Izuma was quiet, its more than 300 sailors largely absent.

Rear Admiral Hirata Toshiyuki, vice commander of the exercise’s joint task force, said he believes the JMSDF will participate “more deeply and proactively to promote interoperability” at the next RIMPAC. The CNO seeks not only interoperability, but also interchangeability with foreign armed forces

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