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Home > Exercise News > SINKEX ~ US Forces Conduct Sinking Exercise

SINKEX ~ US Forces Conduct Sinking Exercise

US joint forces conducted a sinking exercise on the decommissioned guided missile frigate ex-USS Ingraham in the Hawaiian Islands Operating Area, 15 August 2021 [USS Navy: MCS David Mora Jr]

US joint forces conducted coordinated multi-domain, multi-axis, long-range maritime strikes in the Hawaiian Islands during a sinking exercise.

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News Release, Pearl Harbor, 17 August 2021: US joint forces conducted coordinated multi-domain, multi-axis, long-range maritime strikes in the Hawaiian Islands Operating Area during a sinking exercise on the decommissioned guided missile frigate ex-USS Ingraham, August 15.

An E-2D Advanced Hawkeye launches from the flight deck of I-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson to participate in a sinking exercise, 15 August 2021 [USS Navy: MCS Emily Claire Bennett]

Units from Vinson Carrier Strike Group (VINCSG), Submarine Forces Pacific, 1 Marine Expeditionary Force/3rd Marine Air Wing, III Marine Expeditionary/3rd Marine Division, and US Army Multi-Domain Task Force participated in the joint, live-fire exercise.

Artillery Marines provide security as a Marine KC-130J loadmaster deploys a Navy Marine Expeditionary Ship Interdiction System launcher, Pacific Missile Range Facility Barking Sands, Hawaii [USMC: Cpl Luke Cohen]
Artillery Marines escort a Navy Marine Expeditionary Ship Interdiction System (NMESIS) launcher vehicle ashore, Pacific Missile Range Facility Barking Sands, Hawaii [USMC: Cpl Luke Cohen]
The NMESIS and its Naval Strike Missiles, aka ROGUE Fires, deploying to participate in a live-fire exercise as part of Large Scale Exercise 2021 in Hawaii [USMC: Cpl Luke Cohen]
A Naval Strike Missile streaks out to sea before striking a naval target ship ~ the missile flew more than 100 nautical miles before finding its mark [USMC: LCpl Dillon Buck]

“Lethal combat power was effectively applied to a variety of maritime threats over the last two weeks in a simulated environment as part of the Navy’s Large Scale Exercise and expertly demonstrated Sunday with live ordnance,” said US 3rd Fleet Commander Vice Adm. Steve Koehler. “The precise and coordinated strikes from the Navy and our Joint teammates resulted in the rapid destruction and sinking of the target ship and exemplify our ability to decisively apply force in the maritime battlespace.”

Sailors prepare to load ordnance on the flight deck aboard Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson as part of a synchronised sinking exercise, 15 August 2021 [US Navy: MC3 Jeffrey Kempton]
An F/A-18E Super Hornet launches from the flight deck of Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson to participate in a sinking exercise, 15 August 2021 [USS Navy: MCS Emily Claire Bennett]

Former Navy vessels used in sinking exercises, referred to as hulks, are prepared in strict compliance with regulations prescribed and enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency under a general permit the Navy holds pursuant to the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act. Each exercise is required to sink the hulk in at least 1,000 fathoms (6,000 feet) of water and at least 50 nautical miles from land and surveys are conducted to safeguard against harm to people or marine mammals during the event. Prior to being transported for participation in a sinking exercise, each vessel is put through a rigorous cleaning process for environmental safety and is inspected to ensure the ship meets EPA requirements.

A torpedoman loads a UGM-84 anti-ship harpoon missile into a tube aboard the Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Chicago during Large-Scale Exercise (LSE) 2021 [USS Navy: MCS Greg Hall]
Sailors assigned to the fast-attack submarine USS Chicago coordinate the launch of a UGM-84 anti-ship harpoon missile during Large-Scale Exercise (LSE) 2021 [USS Navy: MCS Greg Hall]

Ex-Ingraham was a guided missile frigate commissioned on Aug. 5, 1989, and was decommissioned on Jan. 30, 2015. The ship was named for Duncan Nathaniel Ingraham and is the fourth Navy ship with the namesake. It is the second of its name to be used in a sinking exercise; ex-USS Ingraham (DD 694), which was decommissioned in 1971 and sold to the Greek Navy, was sunk in 2001.

The SINKEX (Sinking Exercise) on 15 August synchronized joint, multi-domain, multi-axis fires with near simultaneous times on target to sink the decommissioned guided missile frigate ex-USS Ingraham
[US Navy: MCS Danny Kelley]

As an integral part of US Pacific Fleet, US 3rd Fleet operates naval forces in the Indo-Pacific in addition to providing realistic and relevant training necessary to execute our Navy’s timeless roles of sea control and power projection. US 3rd Fleet works in close coordination with other numbered Fleets to provide commanders with capable, ready forces to deploy forward and win in day-to-day competition, in crisis, and in conflict.

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