RIMPAC 2016 international maritime exercise to begin on 30 June


The world's largest international maritime exercise, Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2016, is scheduled to begin on 30 June in the waters surrounding the Hawaiian Islands and southern California, US.

Themed as 'Capable, Adaptive, Partners' and hosted by the US Pacific Fleet, the biennial event will run through to 4 August and will involve participation from 27 nations, namely Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, China, Peru, South Korea, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Tonga, the UK, and the US.

Brazil, Denmark, Germany, and Italy are also participating in RIMPAC for the first time. More than 200 aircraft, 45 ships, five submarines, and 25,000 service members will take part in the exercise.

"The participating nations and forces will train on a broad range of capabilities, such as disaster relief and maritime security operations."

US Defense Department Press Operations director navy captain Jeff Davis said RIMPAC is the 25th exercise in the series that began in 1971.

Commenting on RIMPAC, Davis said in a statement that it "provides a training exercise opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain cooperative relations that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security of the world's oceans."

During RIMPAC, the participating nations and forces will train on a broad range of capabilities, such as disaster relief and maritime security operations, to sea control and complex warfighting, as well as demonstrating flexibility of maritime forces.

The drill will also involve amphibious operations; gunnery, missile, anti-submarine, and air defence exercises, in addition to counter-piracy operations; mine clearance operations; and explosive ordnance disposal and diving and salvage operations.

The exercise will also feature a submarine rescue exercise, use of the command and control structure for various at-sea events and a Harpoon missile firing from a US Navy littoral combat ship.

Additionally, the US Navy's Great Green Fleet initiative will demonstrate how the use of energy conservation measures and alternative fuel blends increases resiliency and operational readiness.

As part of the initiative, almost all participating units will operate using an approved alternate-fuel blend.

Image: A simulated beach assault exercise during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2014. Photo: courtesy of Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Corey T Jones.