US Navy commences 26th RIMPAC exercise

Photo by Canadian Armed Forces Sgt. Devin VandeSype

U.S. 3rd Fleet Public Affairs

Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Adm. John C. Aquilino and Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, Vice Adm. John D. Alexander, announced June 27 the start of the world’s largest international maritime exercise, the biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC), scheduled through Aug. 2 in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California.

Twenty-five nations, more than 45 surface ships and submarines, 17 national land forces, and more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are taking part in a unique training opportunity designed to foster and sustain cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s interconnected oceans. RIMPAC 2018 is the 26th exercise in a series that began in 1971.

“RIMPAC is not only the world’s largest international maritime exercise, it also shows that like-minded nations who value a free and open Indo-Pacific want this opportunity to improve our cooperation with each other,” Aquilino said.

The theme of RIMPAC 2018 is “Capable, Adaptive, Partners.” Participating nations and forces will exercise a wide range of capabilities and demonstrate the inherent flexibility of maritime forces. These capabilities range from disaster relief and maritime security operations to sea control and complex warfighting.

The relevant, realistic training program includes gunnery, missile, anti-submarine and air defense exercises, as well as amphibious, counter-piracy, mine clearance, explosive ordnance disposal, diving and salvage operations.

Alexander emphasized the importance of building relationships among international maritime partners by conducting exercises such as RIMPAC.

“We are all maritime nations,” Alexander said.

“We all prosper through trade and the majority of the trade goes through the Indo-Pacific region.”

Photo by Canadian Armed Forces Imagery Technician Cpl. Trevor Matheson

“This is an opportunity to build relationships ahead of a crisis,” he said. This enables us to call our friends, partners and allies to work together to provide disaster relief, combat piracy, or a wide range of maritime contingency operations.

This year’s exercise includes forces from Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Indonesia,

Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tonga, the United Kingdom, the United States and Vietnam.

“There are different uniforms, different faces and different cultures, but we share a common purpose here at RIMPAC,” Aquilino said.

“I want to thank all the participating nations for sending forces to be a part of RIMPAC.”

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