We are finally getting some information about the Coast Guard’s participation in RIMPAC 2022, and some of it may be a bit surprising.
A Coast Guard CO will command a task force,
Coast Guard Cutter Midgett is commanding Combined Task Force 175, which includes ships from France, Peru and the U.S. Navy, and is conducting air and missile defense, gunnery, mass rescue and anti-submarine warfare exercises.
The surprise, of course, is anti-submarine warfare. Midgett might simply simulate the high value unit to be protected, but Midgett will embark an MH-60R. The “Romeo” version is an ASW helicopter.
The 418-foot Midgett, a national security cutter and the largest class in the Coast Guard fleet, will also sail with a Navy MH-60R helicopter on board.
“Part of that is, how do you sustain that particular airframe? How do you support it for a long-range, two-month or three-month deployment?” he said. The Coast Guard is hoping to convert some of its airframes to ones used by the Navy going forward.
I might add, where do you store the sonobuoys, torpedoes, and other weapons?
(I have felt for a long time there are opportunities for attaching Navy Reserve units, that might include ASW Helicopters and their crews and sonar equipment and supporting personnel, to Coast Guard cutters as mobilization assets.)
Will the helicopter operate from Midgett as part of a Sink-Ex? Will Midgett get to participate in a Sink-Ex?
All the Sink-Exs seem to target ships of frigate size or larger. It would be good to have some smaller targets for less capable weapon systems.
What about the USCGC William Hart (WPC-1134), that will also be participating? Her only activity mentioned is to help set up a SAR exercise,
“As part of RIMPAC, the Hart will deploy two groups of mannequins at sea for the Midgett and a Japanese cutter to find and recover in a mass-rescue operation.”
Hope Hart and Midgett get to exercise against high speed small surface targets.