The USS Thach has been decommissioned and went out with quite a bang! Brought to the edge of the Pacific Rim during exercises earlier this month, it undertook quite a bombing to bring it down. And it was a bombing that kept on coming.
The process is part of SINKEX, a series of exercises designed to test the strength of various missiles as well as sink the retired boat. This is a scene that plays itself out every two years. The U.S. Navy drags a decommissioned ship out to the Pacific Rim and then the Navy along with U.S. allies, blast the ship to bits.
Commissioned in 1979 and named after “Jimmy Thach, a World War II F4F Wildcat pilot who invented the famous “Thach Weave” fighter formation to counter the Japanese Zero fighter.”
Thach was pummeled with almost 5,000 lbs of explosives as well as spent rocket fuel and like the Energizer bunny, kept on going, for over 12 hours before she sank into the deep Pacific waters.
A U.S. submarine also dealt blows at the 31-year old vessel sending Mk. 48 torpedoes into the side of its hull. Assault from the air was also part of the SINKEX exercise. Ships which participated in the sinking exercise include: The United States, Canada and the Republic of Korea.
The U.S.S Thach began its long dutiful life in 1982 and ended its mission on July 14th, 2016 55 miles north of Kaui. SINKEX procedures stipulate the vessel must be at least 50 nautical miles from land and once sunk must be able to reach a depth of 6,000 feet. ‘This SINKEX was a tremendous event for all the units who participated.
As you can imagine, the opportunity to fire live ordnances at a real target is incredibly rare and I know that these men and women learned so much today,’ Royal Canadian Navy Rear Adm. Scott Bishop, deputy commander of the RIMPAC Combined Task Force, said.
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