Navies Ready for RIMPAC 2018

RIMPAC Harbor Aerial Photos
PEARL HARBOR (July 1, 2016) An aerial view of ships moored at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam for Rim of the Pacific 2016. Twenty-six nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft, and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC from June 30 to Aug. 4, in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. The world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2016 is the 25th exercise in the series that began in 1971. (U.S. Navy Combat Camera photo by Mass Communication Specialist First Class Ace Rheaume/Released) 160701-N-SI773-291

This month 26 countries will assemble in U.S. 3rd Fleet area of operation for the 26th Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise. RIMPAC is the world’s largest international maritime exercise. It provides a unique training opportunity, helping participants foster and sustain cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans.

 
From June 27 to Aug. 2, 47 surface ships, five submarines, 18 national land forces, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel will have active roles in the exercise, spanning from the waters surrounding the Hawaiian Islands to the Southern California coast.
 
As the ships arrive in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii leading up to the exercise, they are nested (or moored side by side) three-abreast along the piers. For ground forces, companies of Marines from numerous countries camp out on the windward side of Oahu at Marine Corps Training Area Bellows (Bellows Beach) and Marine Corps Base Hawaii. The size of the exercise is impressive, and the coordination required for such a large influx of personnel equally so.
 
The planning for RIMPAC begins more than a year before the event, with the final planning conference occurring two months before kickoff. In early April, more than 1,000 personnel attended the conference, where final preparations for the exercise were streamlined across four days. Topics included accommodations, security, logistics, communications, and an evaluation of materiel requirements for the exercise.
 
During the summer exercise, RIMPAC participants can expect to undergo relevant and realistic training, to include amphibious operations; gunnery, missile, anti-submarine, and air defense exercises; counter-piracy operations; mine clearance operations; explosive ordnance disposal; and diving and salvage operations. These scenarios support the participating nations’ disaster relief and maritime security operations, sea control, and complex warfighting capabilities.
 
In the past, highlights of the RIMPAC exercises have included a “SINKEX,” where ships, aircraft, and submarines deploy missiles to sink a decommissioned vessel; amphibious assaults; missile shoots; and a multi-national group sail formed by more than 40 ships and submarines, 200 aircraft, and 20,000 personnel.
Through the years the exercise has remained an impressive and remarkable event, and continues to grow. But how did it originate?
 
USS Coronado (LCS 4) Launches Harpoon Missile During RIMPAC
USS CORONADO (July 19, 2016) USS Coronado (LCS 4), an Independence-variant littoral combat ship, launches the first over-the-horizon missile engagement using a Harpoon Block 1C missile. Twenty-six nations, 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC from June 30 to Aug. 4, in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. The world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2016 is the 25th exercise in the series that began in 1971. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Bryce Hadley/Released) 160719-N-ZZ999-007

The first RIMPAC, held in 1971, was a partnership exercise involving forces from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Australia, Canada, and the United States have participated in every subsequent RIMPAC. Originally, it was an annual event from 1971-1973. In 1974 due to its large scale, the exercise became a biennial event. With each iteration, new countries get added to the roster of participants, further mirroring fleet operations and expanding the impact of the exercise. This year’s exercise will include first-time participants Brazil, Israel, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam. As well, several observer nations are invited each year; these countries send military representatives but do not send ships.

 
The following countries will participate in this year’s RIMPAC:
 
● United States Navy
● Royal Navy
● Royal Canadian Navy
● Royal Australian Navy
● Royal New Zealand Navy
● French Navy
● German Navy
● Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force
● Republic of Korea Navy
● Royal Netherlands Navy
● Philippine Navy
● Royal Thai Navy
● Royal Tongan Navy
● Republic of Singapore Navy
● Chilean Navy
● Peruvian Navy
● Colombian National Navy
● Sri Lankan Navy
● Brazilian Navy
● Vietnamese People’s Navy
● Israeli Navy
● Mexican Navy
● Royal Malaysian Navy
● Indian Navy
● Royal Brunei Navy
● Indonesian Navy
 
RIMPAC offers an unparalleled opportunity for the world’s maritime forces to build lasting, collaborative relationships in order to maintain readiness on an international scale. Participants have a chance to conduct exercises in ship-sinking and torpedo usage, as well as test new naval technologies and debut naval vessels. Exercises like RIMPAC allow for expanded cooperative maritime relationships which enhance interoperability practices in preparation for being called upon to respond to crisis, whether in time of war or in humanitarian assistance/disaster
response efforts.
 
To follow RIMPAC, please check out the following social media:
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