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RIMPAC 2022: World’s largest marine exercise prepares like-minded nations for challenges

RIMPAC 2022: World’s largest marine exercise prepares like-minded nations for challenges

FORUM Staff

Twenty-six nations represented by 25,000 personnel will gather on June 29, 2022, for a five-week training exercise to strengthen their collective ability to ensure a Free and Open Indo-Pacific.

The biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise is the world’s largest international maritime exercise. It aims to build relationships and skills that promote accessibility, safety and security on the high seas.

The 2022 iteration takes place in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. Its theme: “Capable, Adaptive, Partners.”

Thirty-eight surface ships, four submarines, nine national land forces, and more than 170 aircraft will participate in the exercises, scheduled to conclude August 4, 2022. Together, the participants will display an array of capabilities and demonstrate the flexibility of their combined maritime forces.

“The level of teamwork, planning and cooperation between participants has been fantastic, ensuring that this exercise will be executed safely and professionally,” said Royal Australian Navy Lt. Cmdr. James Dobson, RIMPAC 2022 coordinator, according to U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.

Participating nations include: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, South Korea, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tonga, the United States and the United Kingdom.

The goal is for the multinational force to collaborate seamlessly on missions such as disaster relief, maritime security, sea control and warfare. Participants will engage in realistic gunnery, missile, anti-submarine and air defense exercises; amphibious counter-piracy and mine clearing operations, explosive ordnance disposal, and diving and salvage training.

“RIMPAC 2022 contributes to the increased interoperability, resiliency and agility needed by the Joint and Combined Force to deter and defeat aggression by major powers across all domains and levels of conflict,” according to a U.S. Navy news release.

Honolulu and San Diego are operations centers for this year’s RIMPAC, the 28th such exercise since the first gathering in 1971. The commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet is hosting the 2022 version. (Pictured: Multinational navy ships proceed in formation during an exercise off the coast of Hawaii during RIMPAC 2020.)

Organizers altered the previous RIMPAC mission held in August 2020 to help mitigate effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. It featured only at-sea exercises around the Hawaiian Islands. RIMPAC 2022 will more closely resemble pre-pandemic exercises, though precautionary measures will be observed to deter the virus.

RIMPAC is the largest of a handful of multinational naval exercises. Initially it was held annually but shifted to every other year as it became larger, allowing more time for planning and logistics. Other bilateral and multilateral marine training operations focused on the Indo-Pacific include Balikatan, Keen Edge, La Perouse, Malabar and Talisman Sabre, among others.

IMAGE CREDIT: PETTY OFFICER 2nd CLASS DAN BARD/U.S. NAVY

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