New Zealand’s littoral warfare unit hosts US Third Fleet Commander during RIMPAC

Photo: Royal New Zealand Navy

The New Zealand Defence Force’s Littoral Warfare Unit (LWU) hosted the Commander of the US 3rd Fleet, Vice Admiral (VADM) Nora Tyson, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam, Hawaii on July 13.

The LWU is the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) specialist unit comprising divers, hydrographers and mine counter measures. A detachment of the LWU is participating in RIMPAC 2016 focusing on salvage diving and clearance operations operating alongside Australia, Canada, China, and the United States.

During the visit Lieutenant (LT) Wesley Moir, who is in charge of the Dive Element, explained the dive equipment arrangement and the underwater procedures, while panel operator Able Diver Jamie Howden explained the dive operation from the surface, and the camera functions.

“The procedures demonstrated are a small element of the procedures used for the overall scenario which sees our team conducting underwater survey search operations using side scan sonar and REMUS (remote underwater vehicles) and clearance diving in order to remove underwater obstructions,” said LWU detachment commander Lieutenant Commander Philip Davies.

“It is great to be here, and it’s a fantastic opportunity to build relationships and be face to face with our counterparts working together as capable and adaptive partners.”

VADM Tyson is the lead for RIMPAC and was recently a guest speaker at the NZDF Women’s Development Forum at RNZAF Base Ohakea.

The purpose of the LWU is to ensure access to and the use of harbours, inshore waters and associated coastal zones. The component parts of the LWU can be quickly assembled into a composite force and deployed by sea, land or air.


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