Clearance Divers, rappel training, and the MV ASTERIX on location in Hawaii for RIMPAC

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Aloha, welcome back to Defence Team News on location at RIMPAC. I’m MCpl Lisa Ouellette.

And I’m Shelley Van Hoof. Here are the headlines at Defence.

Clearance Divers from Fleet Diving Units Pacific and Atlantic are a key component of RIMPAC 2018, operating in both Hawaii and Southern California. As part of the Combined Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) component of the exercise, our divers are conducting intensive training, including helicopter rope suspension and live demolitions alongside personnel from the United States, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and other allied nations. For more, we go to our own Lt(N) Jeff Lura.

I’m here at a US Army Rappel Training facility in Hawaii, as part of RIMPAC 2018, and I’m here with Lt(N) Sebastian Harper: the Officer in charge (OIC) of the Navy EOD component for RIMPAC 2018. Lt(N) Harper, thank you very much for joining me.

Thanks for having me.

So, can I ask you to tell the people back home a little bit about what your team is doing here in RIMPAC?

Sure. Like you mentioned, I’m the OIC of the Navy EOD component and our job is to provide integrated maritime EOD capability for the Naval Task Force here in Hawaii.

And what kind of training are you conducting here today and in the future, throughout the exercise?

Today, my seven-man team is taking part in rappelling and fast-roping training. As EOD Operators we find ourselves working with a myriad of different units from around the globe, as well as a lot of land-based units. So repelling and fast-roping is one of the preferred methods of insertion and it’s important that we’re able to move, shoot, and communicate with those land-based units.

And any other exciting training on the horizon?

Yes, we’ll be taking part in various other land-based EOD training, as well as some diving training while we’re here in Hawaii.

And favourite experience so far?

Just the opportunity to work with our host nation as well as other partner nations here at RIMPAC.

We hear that a lot. A very exciting opportunity for all of us here at RIMPAC. Lt(N) Harper, thank you very much.

Thanks, Jeff.

It is now possible to apply to become a Clearance Diver without any previous diving qualifications. Interested members are encouraged to contact their local personnel selection officer.

We’re standing onboard the auxiliary oiler replenishment ship MV ASTERIX, where I have the pleasure of serving. A key component of the Royal Canadian Navy contribution to RIMPAC 2018, Asterix supports deployed ships by providing at-sea refueling, medical support, and other important capabilities. For more on what the ship brings to RIMPAC and to the RCN, we spoke with Lieutenant-Commander Jay Walsh, OIC of Naval Replenishment Unit Asterix.

Tell us about the Asterix and your role.

The Asterix is Canada’s AOR (Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment) contribution to RIMPAC 2018. I’m the OIC on-board, the Commanding Officer of the naval personnel embarked in Asterix where civilian and military compliment together providing fuel operations to the task group at sea.

How is the Asterix supporting RIMPAC 2018?

The Asterix is supporting RIMPAC through providing fueling capability as well as replenishment capability for groceries and solid materials to our partner nations and other Canadian units during RIMPAC.

What capabilities does the Asterix provide the Royal Canadian Navy?

Asterix provides a multitude of capabilities. Primarily we’re a refueling vessel. However, we also have a unique medical and dental capability, as well as an ability to conduct VERTREP (Vertical Replenishment) and HELO (Helicopter) operations astern of the house.

Thank you so much for your time.

Thank you.

Asterix is expected to refuel more than thirty ships during the at-sea portion of RIMPAC.

That’s it for us. Thank you so much for watching. See you next time…

…for Defence Team News!

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