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International submarine search and rescue exercise concludes off WA coast

A major international submarine search and rescue exercise, featuring assets from Australia, Japan, Malaysia, the Republic of Korea, Singapore and the US, has concluded off the coast of Western Australia.

Exercise Pacific Reach 2019 was held at Fleet Base West and in the West Australian Exercise Area, and involved the use of two submarines and various support vessels over the course of a two-week period.


The aim of Exercise Pacific Reach is to increase the level of interoperability among participating nations in the unlikely event of a submarine incident at sea.

“During Exercise Pacific Reach, the Royal Australian Navy’s Submarine Force and our regional partners demonstrated readiness and the ability to respond to the unlikely event of a submarine incident at sea,” Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said.

“Each nation’s submarine search, escape and rescue organisations took part in simulated rescues.

“HMAS Sheean and ROKS Lee Sun-sin both successfully transferred participants while submerged using the James Fisher Submarine Rescue System submersible LR5, with support from rescue units from Japan and the United States.



“Joint maritime exercises like Exercise Pacific Reach strengthen the already deep relationship that exists between Australia and our partners.”

Exercise Pacific Reach is a triennial multinational event and was last held in the Republic of Korea in 2016.

International submarine search and rescue exercise concludes off WA coast
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