A live-fire exercise, part of Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2012, sank the ex-USS Kilauea (T-AE-26) in waters 15,480 feet deep, 63 miles off the coast of Kauai at 9:32 a.m. July 22.
A live-fire exercise, part of Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2012, sank the ex-USS Kilauea (T-AE-26) in waters 15,480 feet deep, 63 miles off the coast of Kauai at 9:32 a.m. July 22.

REPORT FROM RIMPAC 2012 – A live-fire exercise, part of Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2012, sank the ex-USS Kilauea (T-AE-26) in waters 15,480 feet deep, 63 miles off the coast of Kauai at 9:32 a.m. July 22.

A sink exercise (SINKEX) benefits the U.S. Navy and participating allies and partners by providing crews the opportunity to gain proficiency in tactics, targeting and live firing against surface targets, which enhances combat readiness of deployable units.

“HMAS Farncomb’s success reminds us yet again of the invaluable role submarines play in modern warfare,” said Combined Forces Maritime Component Commander, Commodore Stuart Mayer. “RIMPAC allows us to train with our allies for a worst case scenario in a real life environment.”

Former Navy vessels used in SINKEXs are prepared in strict compliance with regulations prescribed and enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Strict environmental compliance is observed during all SINKEXs.   Each SINKEX is required to sink the hulk in at least 1,000 fathoms (6,000 feet) and at least 50 nautical miles from land.

Surveys are conducted to ensure that humans and marine mammals are not in an area where they could be harmed during the event.

Ex-USS Kilauea was an ammunition ship commissioned in August 1968, decommissioned and transferred to MSC in October 1980 and deactivated in September 2008.

Twenty-two nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC exercise from June 29 to Aug. 3, in and around the Hawaiian Islands. The world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the
cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2012 is the 23rd exercise in the series that began in 1971.

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12 COMMENTS

  1. This news to me. I am a plank owner. The first crew, on board for commission, 1968. This ship should of had more years for service. Are their not other old ships that could be used instead ? I was its first Postal Clerk, sold the first book of stamps.

  2. I rode USNS Kilauea In the early 90s as a tactical advisor. She was one of only 3 ships that had a Tactical Flag Command and Control (TFCC) system aboard. I rode the ship from San Francisco Bay to the locks on Oahu. She was a great ship. While it's always sad to see our ships used as targets, its especially difficult to see one go down that I was aboard.

  3. I remember USS Kilauea visiting Burnie, Tasmania, Australia , July 1973. I think she was on her way home after a tour of duty in Vietnam. The crew were a fine group of men. Although it was the middle of our Winter, we had glorious fine cool days for their short time with us. It is sad to see that it was an Australian submarine that sent her to her watery grave!

  4. Bob Wolske
    I was one of the first crew members on the Kilauea and a plank owner she was great, hate to see her go down.

  5. I was on the Kilauea from 71- 75, It makes you feel funny when you here of it's sinking, the thought of that happening never entered my mind while onboard. I remember our stop at Burnie, Tasmania, We had a great time and the people of Burnie were the GREATEST.

    • Hey ED, Kevin Hanna here. I was in the radio shack with you back in the day. I remember well the night we were at the East End bar in Subic and there was a girl under our bar table polishing your shoes , or something. Are you still riding Guzzis?

    • Hi, Mr Lambert

      My name is Bert Hillen. I'm working on a documentary for National Geographic and we're looking to contact people who were serving on the Kilauea in '74. I f you're interested could you get touch at Bert.Hillen@pioneertv.com

      Yours,

      Bert Hillen

  6. I was aboard the kilauea 73-76, I stood watch with the electricians and moved to the galley preparing meals for what we felt were the hardest working partying sailors of the 7th fleet. Learned a wealth of knowledge from some
    experienced salty senior sailors. good to see her last deployment was with the aussies!

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    • Hi, Mr Bontty

      My name is Bert Hillen. I'm working on a documentary for National Geographic and we're looking to contact people who were serving on the Kilauea in '74. I f you're interested could you get touch at Bert.Hillen@pioneertv.com

      Yours,

      Bert Hillen

  7. re USS Kilauea's visit to Burnie, Tasmania July 1973 and Ed Lambert's reply.

    It is nice to hear that you have fond memories of that visit Ed! Two names have come back to me, Sam Scroggins (electrician) and David Thornberry (communications). Tasmania has a great association with the Royal Australian Navy. We appreciate the visits that US Warships have made to our state, including USS Enterprise and USS Missouri.

    Our son served for 6 years in the RAN's Submarine Squadron and was involved in joint exercises with your Fleet between 1986 and 1991.

    Our new fleet of 6 submarines has four named in honour of Tasmanian Navalmen, HMAS Collins, Dechaineux, Waller and Sheean, who was a 19 year-old Ordinary Seaman who was killed whilst gallantly defending his ship, HMAS Armidale, and its crew, in a World War 2 battle.

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