It’s the largest international maritime exercise in the world, and its 2022 edition officially kicked off on Thursday.
Rim of the Pacific, or RIMPAC, is a biennial exercise that was first held in 1971. It’s designed to provide cooperative training for the U.S. and other partner nations. The training will take place around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California through Aug. 4.
There are 26 nations — Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Republic of Korea, Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tonga, United Kingdom and United States — participating in this year’s RIMPAC. The theme is “Capable, Adaptive, Partners.”
“By coming together as Capable, Adaptive Partners, and in the scale that we are, we are making a statement about our commitment to work together, to foster and sustain those relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of the sea lanes and the security of the world’s interconnected oceans,” said RIMPAC 2022 Commander, Vice Admiral Michael Boyle as he welcomed RIMPAC leaders, according to a press release.
“This is also how we find the areas where our national objectives overlap, where we can practice the procedures that will help enable our interchangeability — the nexus of national will and interoperability.”
There will be 38 surface ships, four submarines, nine national land forces, more than 30 unmanned systems, 170 aircraft and more than 25,000 personnel participating in this year’s exercises.
RIMPAC is taking place against a backdrop of tensions with China. Some participating nations, including the Philippines, have been dealing with the country’s expansion into the contested South China Sea. Additionally, countries that make up the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or the Quad, which was formed in 2007 in response to China’s growing influence — India, Japan and Australia — are also taking part.
“It’s great to see the exercise return to the scale that we have seen in previous years, enabling the combined forces of our 26 partner and allied nations to work together and learn from each other,” said RIMPAC CTF Deputy Commander Rear Adm. Christopher Robinson of the Royal Canadian Navy via press release.
“We are each maritime nations and we rely on each other to help keep our sea lanes free and open.”
According to a press release, this year’s RIMPAC will include gunnery, missile, anti-submarine and air defense exercises, diving and salvage operations, mine clearance, explosive ordnance disposal, as well as space and cyber operations.
Lianne Bidal Thompson is the digital producer for Spectrum News Hawaii. She writes about community and general news for Spectrum News Hawaii.