USS Independence (LCS 2) arrived in Pearl Harbor July 6 to participate in Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2014, the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise, according to a DoD release.
Independence is the first of class of the aluminum-hulled trimaran littoral combat ship (LCS) variants built by Austal USA. The Freedom-class littoral combat ships are monohulls built by a Lockheed Martin-led team. The lead ship of the Freedom class, USS Freedom (LCS 1), was a RIMPAC participant in 2010. Independence carried out testing of its Mk 110 57mm main gun off Point Mugu prior to deploying from its homeport of San Diego for the exercise. Independence’s sister ship USS Coronado (LCS 4 –Independence-class ships are even-numbered, Freedom-class LCS odd-numbered) is also participating in RIMPAC, but will remain in the waters off of San Diego conducting mine warfare, dive, and Marine Corps reconnaissance exercises.
Independence, however, will operate off the coast of Hawaii during the seagoing portion of RIMPAC 2014.
Forces from 23 nations will be a part of RIMPAC 2014, including, for the first time, Brunei and the People’s Republic of China, which is sending a four-ship squadron. This year’s exercise also includes forces from Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Tonga, the United Kingdom and the host nation United States.
RIMPAC events are planned to take place in the Hawaiian Operating Area and offshore ranges, including Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Bellows Air Force Station, Pohakulao Training Area, and Schofield Barracks. Some training events are also scheduled to occur off the coast of Southern California.