Mexican Navy, VP-45 Join Forces During Rim of the Pacific 2012

The Mexican navy and Patrol Squadron (VP) 45 “Pelicans” have integrated into the Combined Task Force (CTF) 176 on board USS Essex (LHD 2) for Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2012, June 29 to Aug. 3.

CTF-176 Commander, Rear Adm. Peter Ellis, and his command staff, consisting of Sailors from Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, and the U.S. are operating from Essex and leads more than 10 ships, 12 aircraft, three landing craft air cushion (LCAC), 11 amphibious assault vehicles, and more than 3,500 personnel.

The year marks the first time the Mexican navy is participating in RIMPAC.

“This is a very important moment in history for Mexico,” said Cmdr. Juan Malo, CTF 176 liaison for the Mexican navy. “We are excited about training with the other countries in RIMPAC, and showing how capable the ARM Usumacinta is.”

The ARM Usumacinta is a Tank Landing Ship (LST) vessel homeported in Manzanillo, Mexico.

“VP-45 has generated a striking amount of anti-submarine warfare (ASW) readiness by operating in the first phase of the RIMPAC exercise,” said Cmdr. John Brabazon, executive officer of VP 45. “ASW primacy is our squadron’s calling card. As we continue to build towards a challenging Seventh Fleet deployment in December, operating in this complex joint environment will pay long-term dividends for the Pelican team.”

The relationships built during RIMPAC extended beyond the air, land, and sea.

Cmdr. Malo and I shared a stateroom together,” said Brabazon. “In the end, we are all trying to achieve the same objective – serve our country with intense pride and contribute to lasting global security. I am proud to call Cmdr. Malo my shipmate and mi amigo.”

CTF 176 is an expeditionary strike group (ESG) and consists of participants from Australia, Canada, Chile, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Tonga, New Zealand, and the U.S. Throughout RIMPAC 2012, the task force will participate in a wide range of amphibious exercises, non-combatant evacuation operation exercises, helicopter and mechanized raids, and Marine live-fire support exercises.

Naval Today Staff, July 24, 2012