PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- Top military leaders from 14 partner nations held a press conference to officially launch the 2010 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise at Lockwood Hall on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam June 28.
Adm. Patrick Walsh, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet (PACFLT); and Vice Adm. Richard Hunt, commander, Combined Task Force welcomed the participating foreign navies as they announced the official start of the month-long exercise.
"For us to be able to hold this exercise today represents a substantial commitment by the countries that are participating and represented here," said Walsh. "Our goal is to ensure a reciprocal level of commitment in terms of training opportunities for those who are here."
The exercise will bring to together units and personnel from Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, Peru, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand and the United States.
"It's an honor to stand here before you with the leadership that we have from each of the 14 nations that are represented in the Rim of the Pacific exercise 2010," said Hunt. "Throughout the one month period, a tremendous gathering of like minded nations will be working together to secure the maritime domain in a way that we have not been able to achieve in the past. We really look forward to the exercise."
Walsh said that information sharing is a key enabler and a force multiplier which is one of the key points of the exercise.
"It gives us opportunities when we have the ability to communicate with each other to take full advantage of the respective capabilities that each nation brings to the sea," said Walsh.
During the exercise, participating countries will conduct gunnery, missile, anti-submarine, and air defense exercises, as well as maritime interdiction and vessel boarding, explosive ordnance disposal, diving and salvage operations, mine clearance operations, and an amphibious landing.
Hunt said that the exercise will also emphasize littoral operations with ships like littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1), the French frigate Prairial (F 731) and the Singapore frigate RSS Supreme (70).
RIMPAC is the world's largest multinational maritime exercise, and will take place in the waters around the Hawaiian Islands. The exercise is themed "Combined Agility, Synergy and Support," and marks the 22nd exercise in the series that originated in 1971.