Infographic on Submarine Escape and Rescue operation.
18 August 2010 -- The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) and navies from Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the United States are conducting a Submarine Escape and Rescue (SMER) exercise, codenamed Pacific Reach, from 17 to 25 Aug 2010. This year's exercise, the fifth in the series, is hosted by the RSN for the second time and consists of a shore phase conducted at the Changi Command and Control Centre and a sea phase held in the South China Sea. The exercise also comprises a medical symposium as well as simulated evacuation and treatment of personnel from submarines in distress. Also present at this year's exercise are military observers from 13 countries, namely Canada, China, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Pakistan, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand, the United Kingdom and Vietnam.
Exercise Pacific Reach aims to develop regional SMER capabilities and strengthen interoperability in submarine rescue operations among participating navies. Speaking at the opening of the exercise, RSN's Fleet Commander, Rear- Admiral Joseph Leong, said, "Exercise Pacific Reach serves as a platform to foster cooperation on submarine escape and rescue, as well as to enhance multilateral relations among the submarine operating countries. As more countries acquire or enhance their submarine capabilities in the region, it is also important that we build and maintain a strong network for multilateral submarine rescue collaboration."
Viewing the recovery of the submersible rescue vehicle DSAR 6.
Foreign military observers and participants on board MV Swift Rescue, watching the launch of the submersible rescue vehicle DSAR 6.
The RSN's medical personnel, specially trained in the field of hyperbaric medicine, rendering assistance to a ''rescued'' submariner in the recompression chamber located on board MV Swift Rescue.
This year, the RSN is participating in the exercise with a Landing Ship Tank, RSS Endeavour; a submarine, RSS Chieftain; a submarine rescue support vessel, MV Swift Rescue; and a submersible rescue vehicle, Deep Search and Rescue Six. With hyperbaric facilities such as recompression chambers and a high dependency unit, MV Swift Rescue is able to provide immediate and specialised medical treatment to injured personnel who are evacuated from distressed submarines.Other participating naval assets include an auxiliary support ship, USNS Safeguard, from the US Navy and a Japanese submarine JDS Arashio. In 2000, the RSN hosted the first Exercise Pacific Reach, involving navies from Japan, the Republic of Korea and the United States.
Fact Sheet: MV Swift Rescue and Deep Search and Rescue Six
The submarine support vessel, MV Swift Rescue, was launched by the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) in November 2008. The RSN is the first in the Southeast Asian region to acquire Submarine Escape and Rescue (SMER) capabilities with the equipping of the MV Swift Rescue and the submersible rescue vessel, Deep Search and Rescue Six (DSAR 6). The MV Swift Rescue and DSAR allow for the rapid and effective evacuation of personnel from distressed submarines.
MV Swift Rescue features a wide range of capabilities to carry out SMER operations. The vessel comprises a helipad for the emergency evacuation of casualties, a Launch and Recovery system used to lower and raise the DSAR 6 the water, a medical centre equipped with an 8-bed High Dependency Ward and 10-bed Sick Bay, as well as a recompression chamber. The chamber has a capacity of 40 personnel and utilises a Deck Transfer Lock to prevent changes in the atmospheric pressure of the rescued submariners when they are transferred from the DSAR 6 to the recompression chamber.