RIMPAC 2016 first major international drill for largest Australian Navy ship

Three Royal Australian Navy ships, three helicopters and more than 1,000 personnel are in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii for Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2016.

Flagship of the Australian fleet, HMAS Canberra, led the Australian task group into harbor followed closely by Anzac class frigates HMA Ships Ballarat and Warramunga.

RIMPAC 2016 will be the first major international exercise for HMAS Canberra, MH-60R Seahawk ‘Romeo’ and MRH-90 helicopters.

The arrival also marked the first time an embarked Australian Army Amphibious Ready Element will take part in the exercise, now in its 25th iteration since 1971.

Commanding Officer, HMAS Canberra, Captain Chris Smith said it was a proud and exciting moment to lead the Australian Task Group into Pearl Harbor.

“Pearl Harbor is a major naval base and its size and scale is hard to believe,” he said.

“We’ve achieved a lot in our passage to Hawaii, including working closely with New Zealand and French frigates, HMNZS Te Kaha and FNS Prairial respectively.”

RIMPAC is a United States Pacific Fleet biennial combined exercise involving forces from 26 countries including Australia.

Approximately 45 surface ships, five submarines, 200 aircraft and more than 25,000 personnel are participating in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California in the United States of America.