U.S. joint forces conducted coordinated multi-domain, multi-axis, long-range maritime strikes in the Hawaiian Islands Operating Area during a sinking exercise on the decommissioned guided missile frigate ex-USS Ingraham, Aug. 15. U.S. Navy Photo

Navy Sinks Ex-USS Ingraham During Live-Fire Exercise Off Hawaii

Mike Schuler
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August 19, 2021

The U.S. Navy held its latest sinking exercise (SINKEX) this week off the coast of Hawaii.

The exercise took place August 15 using the decommissioned guided-missile frigate ex-USS Ingraham as a target.

Former Navy vessels used in sinking exercises, referred to as hulks, are prepared in strict compliance with Environmental Protection Agency regulations and under a general permit the Navy holds pursuant to the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act.

Each exercise is required to sink the hulk in at least 1,000 fathoms (6,000 feet) of water and at least 50 nautical miles from land. Surveys are also conducted to safeguard against harm to people or marine mammals during the event. Prior to sinking, each vessel is put through a rigorous cleaning process for environmental safety and is inspected to ensure the ship meets EPA requirements.

U.S. Navy Photo

Ex-Ingraham was a guided missile frigate commissioned in 1989, and was decommissioned on January 30, 2015. The ship was named for Duncan Nathaniel Ingraham and is the fourth Navy ship with the namesake. It is the second of its name to be used in a sinking exercise; ex-USS Ingraham (DD 694), which was decommissioned in 1971 and sold to the Greek Navy, was sunk in 2001.

This latest exercise involved units from Vinson Carrier Strike Group (VINCSG), Submarine Forces Pacific, 1 Marine Expeditionary Force/3rd Marine Air Wing, III Marine Expeditionary/3rd Marine Division, and U.S. Army Multi-Domain Task Force.

“Lethal combat power was effectively applied to a variety of maritime threats over the last two weeks in a simulated environment as part of the Navy’s Large-Scale Exercise and expertly demonstrated Sunday with live ordnance,” said U.S. 3rd Fleet Commander Vice Adm. Steve Koehler. “The precise and coordinated strikes from the Navy and our joint teammates resulted in the rapid destruction and sinking of the target ship and exemplify our ability to decisively apply force in the maritime battlespace.”

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