Russian naval forces have taken part this week in the international RIMPAC naval exercise for the first time, successfully completing an anti-piracy exercise in the Pacific alongside U.S. forces, a Russian fleet spokesman said on Thursday.
“The Russian Navy and U.S. Navy received orders to air-land their combat groups on board their ships during the drills," Capt. 1st Rank Roman Martov said. "The exercises started when the U.S. commandos landed from the helicopter on the Russian Fotiy Krylov rescue ship. Russian marines then carried out a landing on the U.S. warship Port Royal. Both operations were successful,” he added.
After the exchange helicopter landing, the Russian Navy carried out naval gunfire support firing at land targets, Martov said.
Russia has three ships taking part in RIMPAC-2012, the destroyer Admiral Panteleyev, the tanker Boris Butoma and the salvage tug Fotiy Krylov.
The active phase of the exercise will run until August 2, involving 45 warships and support vessels from 22 countries, and also 100 combat aircraft and over 20,000 marines.
The exercise includes dozens of combat missions and exercises, including humanitarian, search and rescue operations. RIMPAC-2012 will also practice evacuation of civilians in an amphibious landing operation, and also joint anti-submarine, anti-aircraft and anti-ship defense.
The first RIMPAC exercises were held in 1971 and involved the navies of Australia Canada, New Zealand, the U.K. and United States.