RIMPAC Features First-Time Participants and New Operations

June 24, 2016
Maryann Lawlor
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Denmark, Germany and Italy join the pack.

The biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise begins June 30 and will include 26 nations, 45 ships, five submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel. The theme of RIMPAC 2016 is "Capable, Adaptive, Partners." Participants will exercise a range of capabilities and demonstrate the inherent flexibility of maritime forces. The capabilities range from disaster relief and maritime security operations to sea control and complex warfighting.

RIMPAC is a realistic training program that includes amphibious operations, gunnery, missile, anti-submarine and air defense exercises, as well as counter-piracy, mine clearance operations, explosive ordnance disposal, and diving and salvage operations. Touted as the world's largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC is a training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain cooperative relationships. According to the U.S. Third Fleet, the event is critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world's oceans.

Among the nations participating in this year’s event are forces from Australia, Colombia, Norway, the People’s Republic of China, the United States and the United Kingdom. In addition, Danish, German and Italian militaries will be participating for the first time this year. Also new this year will be exploring the command and control structure for various at sea events and incorporating a submarine rescue exercise. This year will see amphibious operations in the Southern California operating area, feature a harpoon missile shoot from a U.S. Navy littoral combat ship and highlight fleet innovation during the Trident Warrior experimentation series.

The U.S. Department of the Navy's Great Green Fleet yearlong initiative also will play a major role in RIMPAC. The initiative highlights global operations using energy conservation measures and alternative fuel blends to demonstrate how optimizing energy use increases resiliency and operational readiness. During RIMPAC, almost all participating units will operate using an approved alternate-fuel blend.

Hosted by U.S. Pacific Fleet, Vice Adm. Nora Tyson, USN, commander of the U.S. 3rd Fleet (C3F), will lead RIMPAC 2016. Adm. Tyson will serve as the Combined Task Force (CTF) commander. Rear Adm. Scott Bishop, RCN, will serve as deputy commander of the CTF, and Japan Maritime Self Defense Force Rear Adm. Koji Manabe will be the vice commander.

Additional information about the exercise is available online.

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