F/A-18 Hornets from Marine Fighter Assault Squadron 232 (VMFA-232), Marine Air-Floor Process Drive 7 (MAGTF-7) used Joint Direct Assault Munitions (JDAMs) towards a ship, the ex USS Denver (LPD 9), throughout a sinking train (SINKEX) as a part of Train Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022. VMFA-232 coordinated the strike towards the environmentally clear, decommissioned naval vessel in cooperation with the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Air Drive. Throughout SINKEX execution, 4 U.S. Marine Corps F/A-18 Hornets from VMFA-232 additionally fired Excessive-Velocity Anti-Radiation Missiles (HARM), adopted by a Harpoon (AGM-84), and JDAMs. The F/A-18 is exclusive throughout the U.S. Marine Corps for its capacity to make use of a various array of air-to-surface and air-to-air weapons.

“With our Hornet’s JDAM employment towards the united statesDenver, the Marine Corps demonstrated our rising arsenal of anti-ship capabilities,” stated Brig. Gen. Joseph R. Clearfield, deputy commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, and Fleet Marine Drive commander for RIMPAC. “It was a proud however bittersweet second for me, having deployed aboard the united statesDenver as a Marine Captain and firm commander. However what a approach for her to exit!”


“This SINKEX is a historic occasion for the Marine Corps and all of the accomplice nations who contributed. The practical coaching we’re doing at RIMPAC helps us advance multinational naval warfighting interoperability and competency. It additionally makes us extra able to quickly reply to a world disaster or battle,” stated Col. David J. Hart, commanding officer, MAGTF-7. “This train permits us to check and advance our new weapon methods and to boost our lethality, ways, and safety within the Indo-Pacific area.”

A U.S. Marine Corps F/A-18 Hornet assigned to Marine Fighter Assault Squadron 232, Marine Air-Floor Process Drive 7, is loaded with ordnance for a Sinking Train (SINKEX) as a part of Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022. (U.S. Marine Corps photograph by Sgt. Melanye Martinez)

VMFA-232 additionally practiced discovering and concentrating on the previous USS Denver along with U.S. Navy maritime patrol and reconnaissance plane and U.S. Air Drive MQ-9 Reapers, demonstrating the U.S. Marine Corps’ capacity to combine right into a joint and mixed command and management community wherever. The firing of JDAMs by a Marine Corps F/A-18 towards the previous USS Denver demonstrates the Marine Corps’ capacity to make use of three totally different weapons methods in an anti-ship capability. These embody the Harpoon, the Naval Strike Missile (efficiently employed towards a ship throughout the Giant-Scale Train 2021), and the JDAM. The know-how the JDAM gives enhances our aviation fight ingredient’s capabilities in eliminating maritime threats from peer adversaries and demonstrates the joint power’s adaptability to the long run struggle.

MAGTF-7 is the Marine Corps unit briefly established by I Marine Expeditionary Drive to take part in RIMPAC 2022, and is led by Col. Hart, commanding officer, seventh Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division. It consists of UH-1 Yankee and AH-1 Viper helicopters from Marine Mild Assault Helicopter (HMLA) Squadron 169, in addition to F/A-18 Hornet fighter/assault jets from Marine Fighter Assault (VMFA) Squadron 232. MAGTF-7 is organized as a unified air-ground, mixed arms process power designed to hold out an array of fight operations. Former Navy vessels utilized in SINKEXs are ready in strict compliance with laws prescribed and enforced by the Environmental Safety Company beneath a normal allow the Navy holds pursuant to the Marine Safety, Analysis, and Sanctuaries Act. Every SINKEX is required to sink the hulk in not less than 1,000 fathoms (6,000 toes) of water and not less than 50 nautical miles from land. Surveys are carried out to make sure that no marine mammals or wildlife are harmed.

Previous to the vessel being transported for participation in a SINKEX, every vessel is put by way of a rigorous cleansing course of, together with the removing of all polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), transformers and huge capacitors, all small capacitors to the best extent sensible, trash, floatable supplies, mercury or fluorocarbon-containing supplies, and readily removable stable PCB gadgets. Petroleum can be cleaned from tanks, piping, and reservoirs. Twenty-six nations, 38 ships, three submarines, greater than 170 plane, greater than 30 unmanned methods, and 25,000 personnel are taking part in RIMPAC from June 29 to Aug. 4 in and across the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. The world’s largest worldwide maritime train, RIMPAC, gives a singular coaching alternative whereas fostering and sustaining cooperative relationships amongst members, essential to making sure the security of sea lanes and safety on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2022 is the twenty eighth train within the sequence that started in 1971.

US Marine Corps F/A-18 Hornets Sink Decommissioned ex USS Denver
An F/A-18, Hornet assigned to Marine Fighter Assault Squadron 232, Marine Air-Floor Process Drive 7, fired upon the decommissioned ex-USS Denver (LPD9) July 22, throughout a sinking train (SINKEX) to achieve proficiency in ways, concentrating on, and live-firing towards a floor goal at sea. (U.S. Marine Corps photograph by Lance Cpl. Haley Fourmet Gustavsen)