US Navy launches RIMPAC 22, world’s largest international maritime exercise

The US Navy launched the 28th edition of the biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC), the world’s largest international maritime exercise, on 29 June.

Twenty-six nations, 38 surface ships, four submarines, nine national land forces, more than 30 unmanned systems, approximately 170 aircraft and more than 25,000 personnel will train and operate in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California, from 29 June until 4 August.

RIMPAC forces will exercise a wide range of capabilities, projecting the inherent flexibility of maritime forces and helping to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific.

“By coming together as Capable, Adaptive Partners, and in the scale that we are, we are making a statement about our commitment to work together, to foster and sustain those relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of the sea lanes and the security of the world’s interconnected oceans,” said RIMPAC 2022 Commander, Vice Admiral Michael Boyle.

“This is also how we find the areas where our national objectives overlap, where we can practice the procedures that will help to enable our interchangeability –the nexus of national will and interoperability.” 

This year’s exercise program will include gunnery, missile, anti-submarine and air defense exercises, as well as amphibious, counter-piracy, mine clearance, explosive ordnance disposal, diving and salvage operations.

Additionally, the exercise will also introduce space and cyber operations for all partner nations.

For the first time, the Republic of Korea Rear Adm. Sangmin An will serve as the Commander of Combined Task Force (CTF) 176, RIMPAC’s amphibious task force.

This marks also the first time the newly commissioned Royal Australian Navy’s Supply-class auxiliary oiler replenishment ship HMAS Supply will participate in an international exercise, carrying-out replenishments at seas with participating navies.

In February this year, the vessel conducted the first replenishment at sea (RAS) In Tonga.

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“It’s great to see the exercise return to the scale that we have seen in previous years, enabling the combined forces of our 26 partner and allied nations to work together and learn from each other,” said RIMPAC CTF Deputy Commander Rear Adm. Christopher Robinson of the Royal Canadian Navy.