USNS Yukon refuels multinational fleet
By OS1(AW) Tristan D. Cajar, USN
Six Pacific Rim nations, along with the United Kingdom and France, participated in Rim of the Pacific, a major maritime exercise conducted in the waters off Hawaii from June 25 to July 21. RIMPAC 2002 brings together maritime forces from Australia, Canada, Chile, Peru, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States.
"It's a way for foreign countries and U.S. Forces to work together and familiarize themselves with each other's way of operating," explained OS1 Robert Cooper, USN, USNS Yukon's leading operations specialist.
This year's exercise is the 18th in a series of RIMPAC exercises conducted periodically since 1971. More than 30 ships, 24 aircraft and 11,000 Sailors, Marines, Soldiers, Airmen and Coast Guard personnel participated in RIMPAC training operations.
"Yukon conducts operations such as RIMPAC as a matter of course. Refueling-at-sea and providing logistic support is what we do," commented Capt. Mark Wilson, Yukon's master. "RIMPAC is a more formal setting of operations. By the time we enter the exercise, many of the customers already know Yukon well, and we know their specific manner of refueling."