San Diego ― Twenty-three nations, 47 ships, six submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel will participate in the biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) maritime exercise scheduled June 26 to August 1 in and around the Hawaiian Islands.
The world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans.
RIMPAC 2014 is the 24th exercise in the series, which began in 1971.
Brunei and China are slated to participate in RIMPAC for the first time in 2014, joining forces from Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, South Korea, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Tonga, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Hosted by U.S. Pacific Fleet, RIMPAC 2014 will be led by Navy Vice Admiral Kenneth Floyd, commander of the U.S. 3rd Fleet, who will serve as the Combined Task Force (CTF) commander. Royal Australian Navy Rear Admiral Simon Cullen will serve as deputy commander of the CTF, and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Rear Admiral Yasuki Nakahata will be the vice commander.
Other key leaders of the multinational force will include Rear Admiral Gilles Couturier of the Royal Canadian Navy, who will command the maritime component, Air Commodore Chris Westwood of the Royal Australian Air Force, who will command the air component, and U.S. Marine Corps Major General Richard Simcock, who will lead the land component.
RIMPAC 2014 also will include for the first time a special operations component, to be led by U.S. Navy Captain William Stevens. Also joining RIMPAC for the first time in 2014 are two hospital ships, USNS Mercy and PLA(N) Peace Ark.
The 2014 exercise theme 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 warfare.
The relevant, realistic training syllabus includes amphibious operations and gunnery, missile, anti-submarine and air defense exercises, as well as counterpiracy measures, explosive ordnance disposal, and mine clearance, diving and salvage operations.