Valiant Shield 2024 Participants Conduct Sinking Exercise

17 Jun 2024 | Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet United States Navy

Valiant Shield (VS) 2024 conducted a sinking exercise (SINKEX) with the environmentally clean decommissioned hulk of the Austin-class amphibious transport dock, ex-USS Cleveland (LPD-7) more than 40 nautical miles from land in the North Pacific Ocean.

A SINKEX generally involves air, surface, and undersea military units conducting live-fire training against a physical target.

SINKEXs give participants an opportunity to gain proficiency and confidence in their weapons and systems through realistic training that cannot be duplicated in simulators.

Each SINKEX is conducted in strict compliance with applicable U.S. environmental laws, regulations, and permit requirements to minimize potential harm to the environment. In addition, each SINKEX vessel undergoes a rigorous cleaning process, in accordance with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards, which includes removal of all liquid polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from transformers, large capacitors, and small capacitors. Additionally, petroleum is cleaned from the vessel’s tanks, pipes and reservoirs and all trash, floatable materials, mercury or fluorocarbon containing materials, and readily detachable solid PCB items are removed. The Navy also complies with documentation requirements to track components containing liquid PCBs and solid shipboard materials potentially containing PCBs.

SINKEXs are conducted only after the area has been surveyed for the presence of people, marine vessels, aircraft, and marine species. SINKEXs are fully compliant with the National Environmental Policy Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, Endangered Species Act, and a general permit under the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act.

VS24 is a multinational, biennial field training exercise focused on integrating interoperability in a multi-domain environment. The exercise builds real-world proficiency in sustaining joint forces by detecting, locating, tracking, and engaging units at sea, in the air, in space, on land, and in cyberspace in response to a range of mission areas.

Exercises such as VS24 allow forces across the Indo-Pacific the opportunity to integrate Navy, Marine Corps, Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Space Force, and partner nations to train in precise, lethal, and overwhelming multi-axis, multi-domain effects that demonstrate the strength and versatility of the Joint and Combined Force.


                                                                         - 30 -

Media queries regarding VS24 should be directed to the U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs Office at (808) 471-3769 or Imagery and stories regarding Valiant Shield can be found here: