SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Ships based at Naval Base San Diego and Naval Air Station North Island began deploying June 15 to the waters off Hawaii for the biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise June 23 through Aug. 1.
The San Diego ships participating in the world's largest maritime exercise are USS Benfold (DDG 65), USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), USS Chancellorsville (CG 62), USS Cleveland (LPD 7), USS Comstock (LSD 45), USS Devastator (MCM 6), USS Freedom (LCS 1), USS Hopper (DDG 70), USS McClusky (FFG 41), USS Pioneer (MCM 9), USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) and USS Sampson (DDG 102).
Hosted by Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, RIMPAC demonstrates a commitment to working with global partners in guarding the sea lanes of commerce and communication, protecting national interests abroad and ensuring freedom of navigation as a basis for global peace and prosperity. By design, RIMPAC is a multi-national exercise that prepares forces to be interoperable and ready for a wide range of potential operations. This, in turn, helps ensure stability throughout the Pacific Rim, aiding the development and prosperity of all participating nations.
As an exercise, RIMPAC is intended to increase the tactical proficiency of participating units in a wide array of maritime operations by enhancing military-to-military relations and interoperability. During the exercise, participating units will conduct gunnery, missile, anti-submarine, and air defense exercises, as well as maritime interdiction and vessel boardings, explosive ordnance disposal, diving and salvage operations, mine clearance operations, and an amphibious landing.
This year's exercise includes units or personnel from Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, Peru, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand and the United States.
RIMPAC 2010 is themed "Combined Agility, Synergy and Support," and marks the 22nd exercise in the series that originated in 1971.