The Republic Of Korea Navy submarine ROKS Lee Sunsin (SSK 068) sails in company with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force submarine rescue ship JS Chiyoda (AS 405) and Royal Australian Navy rescue gear ship MV Stoker for the opening of the sea phase of exercise Pacific Reach 2019, Nov. 8. (Royal Australian Navy/POIS James Whittle)

ROCKINGHAM, Australia - The 10th iteration of Exercise Pacific Reach (PACREACH) kicked off at the Fleet West Base in Western Australia, Nov. 4.

PACREACH is a triennial, multilateral submarine rescue exercise, sponsored by the Asian Pacific Submarine Conference. The exercise aims to demonstrate regional submarine abandonment and escape rescue capabilities by conducting simulated submarine rescue missions utilizing the Submarine Rescue Diving Recompression System and Pressurized Rescue Module.

“The key objectives of this exercise are to build trust and confidence in our ability to operate our systems together in times of crisis,” said Cmdr. Gary Lawton of the Australian Navy, exercise director for PACREACH 2019.

Principal partners include Sailors assigned to Submarine Squadron 11’s Undersea Rescue Command, Republic of Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Australia and Singapore.

"Pacific Reach is a critically important exercise that allows us to train on how to immediately respond to a disabled submarine," said Cmdr. John Babick, Submarine Squadron 11’s deputy commander for undersea rescue. "It takes the effort and cooperation of several nations to perform a timely rescue, and in order to execute they must work together. We are excited to be here, developing and furthering relationships with the international submarine community."

Beginning in 1996, participating nations have alternated hosting the PACREACH exercise. This year’s exercise is scheduled to run through Nov. 15, with the focus on promoting proficiency and interoperability.

Capt. James Mucciarone, force medical officer for Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, tours the inside of a decompression chamber aboard the Royal Australian Navy rescue gear ship MV Stoker during a mass evacuation drill as part of exercise Pacific Reach, Nov. 6. (U.S. Navy/MC2 Thomas Gooley)

ROKS Lee Sunsin (SSK 068) sails in formation with the Royal Australian Navy submarine HMAS Sheean (SSG 77) as the sea phase of Pacific Reach kicked off, Nov. 8. (Royal Australian Navy/POIS James Whittle)

In this file photo, a Pressurized Rescue Module is deployed during a submarine rescue exercise off Alaska in 2018. (U.S. Navy/Monica McCoy)