The Australian Department of Defence has announced that four Royal Navy vessels and around 700 Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel have arrived in Hawaii for Exercise Rim of the Pacific 2020 (RIMPAC).

RIMPAC is a biennial maritime exercise scheduled to take place on 17-31 August in the waters around the Hawaiian Islands in the US. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the exercise will be an at-sea-only event.

Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said: “As outlined in the recent 2020 Defence Strategic Update and Force Structure Plan, the government recognises the importance of our maritime forces as a vital element of our defence strategy, and exercises such as this are key to further enhancing our capabilities.

“Ranging from multinational anti-submarine warfare to supporting joint humanitarian operations, by working with others bilaterally, regionally and multilaterally, Australia can contribute to a more secure, stable Indo-Pacific region.”

The vessels that will be a part of the RIMPAC 2020 are the HMA Ships Hobart, Stuart, Arunta, and Sirius.

These ships were part of a deployment of ships and associated forces in the Indo-Pacific region as part of preparations for the RIMPAC exercise.

This marks the first instance where Hobart-class guided missile destroyers participated in RIMPAC.

RIMPAC 2020 will see participation from ten nations, 22 surface ships, one submarine, multiple aircraft, and approximately 5,300 personnel.

Forces from Australia, Brunei, Canada, France, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, and the US will take part.

The forces will carry out different capabilities, including multinational anti-submarine warfare, maritime intercept operations, and live-fire training events.