Twenty-six nations, 45 ships, five submarines, more than 200 aircraft, and 25,000 personnel will participate in the biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise scheduled 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 are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans.
Officials say RIMPAC is also a big boost for Hawaii’s economy, estimated to bring $52.2 million to our state.
“There’s over 25,000 people showing up here, and what we’ve found is year over year, people come to Hawaii, they’ve dreamed of coming to Hawaii, so they’ll come back and visit with their families after the short visit for RIMPAC,” said Rear Adm. John Fuller, Navy Region Hawaii.
RIMPAC 2016 is the 25th exercise in a series that began in 1971.
Three nations, Denmark, Germany, and Italy, will participate for the first time in 2016.
The theme of RIMPAC 2016 is “Capable, Adaptive, Partners.” The 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 amphibious operations, gunnery, missile, anti-submarine, and air defense exercises as well as counter-piracy, mine clearance operations, explosive ordnance disposal, and diving and salvage operations.
This year’s exercise includes forces from Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, People’s Republic of China, Peru, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Tonga, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Hosted by U.S. Pacific Fleet, RIMPAC 2016 will be led by U.S. Vice Adm. Nora Tyson, commander of the U.S. 3rd Fleet (C3F), who will serve as the Combined Task Force (CTF) commander. Royal Australian Navy Rear Adm. Scott Bishop will serve as deputy commander of the CTF, and Japan Maritime Self Defense Force Rear Adm. Koji Manabe as the vice commander. Other key leaders of the multinational force will include Commodore Malcolm Wise of the Royal Australian Navy, who will command the maritime component; Brig. Gen. Blaise Frawley of the Royal Canadian Air Force, who will command the air component; and the amphibious task force will be led by Royal New Zealand Navy Commodore James Gilmour.
Due to unforeseen scheduling commitments, Brazil is unable to participate.