Although it’s been more than 30 years since the USS Midway was decommissioned, she is still helping teach our allies how the Navy operates as a cohesive force not only with other U.S. service branches but also with the militaries of foreign allies.

Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) is a biennial training exercise with multiple nations in the Indo-Pacific region designed to sustain cooperative relationship for ensuring the safety and security of critical sea lanes. Recently, the U.S Navy’s 3rd Fleet brought together the RIMPAC senior leadership and staffs from several partner nations for a planning conference in advance of the world’s largest maritime exercise scheduled this summer in the Pacific Ocean.

As part of the conference, the USS Midway Museum hosted more than 20 military leaders from Canada, Australia, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Singapore for a tour and briefing of its combat spaces.

“Midway is an icon in San Diego,” said Vice Adm. Stephen Koehler, the 3rd Fleet commander. “I wanted to bring the officers here to really show them how we integrate in the Navy during warfare. It’s how we utilized a ship like the Midway for a long time. The ship is still a symbol of warfighting and how we did it together with our allies.”

While on board Midway, the group toured squadron ready rooms, the Combat Information Center, the Tactical Flag Command Center and got to look inside the technology-heavy E-2C Hawkeye airborne early warning aircraft.

“Being on Midway was a great opportunity to share history for all of us and to take forward this history,” said Commodore Paul O’Grady of the Australian navy. “It helped reenforce cooperation by connecting us to recent past and the continuity that goes with it. It also helped us focus on what we still need today.”

The visit to Midway was coordinated by Midway’s chief engineer, Len Santiago, who participated in multiple RIMPAC naval exercises when he was assigned to the the 3rd Fleet staff.

“It was great having these senior officers from all over the Pacific Rim visit Midway during their planning conference,” said Len, who helped coordinate RIMPAC exercises in 2008 and 2010. “It was an opportunity to show them, many who have not been on a U.S. aircraft carrier, how we coordinate very complex military operations in support of our mutual national defense.” 

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