The Rim of the Pacific Exercise, the world’s largest international maritime exercise, brought 25 nations, 46 ships, five submarines, 200 aircraft, and 25,000 personnel together from June 27 to Aug. 2 in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California to train and to foster and sustain cooperative relationships to ensure the safety of sea lanes and the security of the world’s oceans. Participating nations and forces exercised a wide range of capabilities and demonstrated 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 included amphibious operations, gunnery, missile, anti-submarine and air defense exercises, as well as counter-piracy operations, mine clearance operations, explosive ordnance disposal, and diving and salvage operations.
“The purpose of these operations is to increase capability and to build relationships with our partners. Trust isn’t something you can surge, and it’s critical that we maintain and develop these key relationships for the times we really need to rely on one another,” said U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Dave Welch, the commander of Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center and Commander, Task Force 177. “The training we will complete will increase capability, evaluate new and existing tactics, [and] foster interoperability”.
CTF 177 is comprised of 26 units with approximately 1,100 personnel representing the United States, Australia, Canada, England, Japan, the Netherlands and New Zealand conducting advanced mine warfare operations to support RIMPAC.
“At each RIMPAC our Navy trains with friends, partners and colleagues to be capable, adaptive, innovative and ready,” said Rear Admiral Brian Fort, Commander, Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific. “RIMPAC offers relevant and realistic training that fosters and sustains cooperative relationships. During RIMPAC in 2002 I learned quickly that when we understand each other we can prevent miscalculations. We can build trust. We can preserve peace and prevent conflict.”