Exercise RIMPAC

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"Rim of the Pacific" redirects here. For the geographic region, see Pacific Rim.
Exercise RIMPAC
 Map Legend          Host Nation        2014 Active        2014 Observers        Past Active        Past Observers
Headquarters Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, U.S
Type Military exercises

Establishment 1971

RIMPAC, the Rim of the Pacific Exercise, is the world's largest international maritime warfare exercise. RIMPAC is held biennially during June and July of even-numbered years from Honolulu, Hawaii. It is hosted and administered by the United States Navy's Pacific Fleet, headquartered at Pearl Harbor, in conjunction with the Marine Corps, the Coast Guard, and Hawaii National Guard forces under the control of the Governor of Hawaii. The US invites military forces from the Pacific Rim and beyond to participate. With RIMPAC the United States Pacific Command seeks to enhance interoperability between Pacific Rim armed forces, ostensibly as a means of promoting stability in the region to the benefit of all participating nations. Described by the US Navy as 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.[1]


The USS Abraham Lincoln carrier battle group along with ships from Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, and South Korea during RIMPAC 2000.

The first RIMPAC, held in 1971, involved forces from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom (UK), and the United States (US). Australia, Canada, and the US have participated in every RIMPAC since then. Other regular participants are Chile, Colombia, France, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Peru, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and the UK. The Royal New Zealand Navy was frequently involved until the 1985 ANZUS nuclear ships dispute, but has taken part in recent RIMPACs such as in 2012 and 2014.

Several observer nations are usually invited, including China, Ecuador, India, Mexico, the Philippines, and Russia, who became an active participant for the first time in 2012.[2] While not contributing any ships, observer nations are involved in RIMPAC at the strategic level and use the opportunity to prepare for possible full participation in the future.

The United States contingent has included an aircraft carrier strike group, submarines, up to a hundred aircraft and 20,000 Sailors, Marines, Coast Guardsmen and their respective officers. The size of the exercises varies from year to year.


RIMPAC 2004 included 40 ships, seven submarines, 100 aircraft, and nearly 18,000 military personnel from seven navies, including Canada, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Chile, and the United Kingdom.[3][4][5][6] It focused on multinational training while building trust and cooperation among the participating naval partners. Rear Admiral Patrick M. Walsh, Commander Carrier Group Seven, served as Multinational Task Force Commander[7] aboard the USS John C. Stennis.


Sea Combat Control (19 July 2010)

On 23 June 2010, U.S. Pacific Fleet commander Admiral Patrick M. Walsh and Combined Task Force commander Vice Admiral Richard W. Hunt announced the official start of the month-long 2010 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise during a press conference held in Lockwood Hall at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. RIMPAC 2010 was the 22nd exercise in the series that originated in 1971.[8] The exercise was designed to increase the operational and tactical proficiency of participating units in a wide array of maritime operations by enhancing military-to-military relations and interoperability.[9] Thirty-two ships, five submarines, over 170 aircraft, and 20,000 personnel participated in RIMPAC 2010, the world's largest multi-national maritime exercise.[10]

RIMPAC 2010 brought together units and personnel from Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, Peru, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, and the United States. During the exercise, participating countries conducted gunnery, missile, anti-submarine, and air defense exercises, as well as maritime interdiction and vessel boarding, explosive ordnance disposal, diving and salvage operations, mine clearance operations, and an amphibious landing. RIMPAC 2010 will also emphasize littoral operations with ships like the U.S. littoral combat ship Freedom, the French frigate Prairial, and the Singaporean Formidable class frigate RSS Supreme.[8]

On 28 June 2010, the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan arrived in Pearl Harbor to participate in RIMPAC 2010. Ronald Reagan was the only aircraft carrier to participate in this exercise. During the in-port phase of RIMPAC, officers and crew of the 14 participating navies interact in receptions, meetings, and athletic events.[11] The Reagan completed its Tailored Ships Training Availability (TSTA) exercises prior to RIMPAC 2010.[11]

During 6–7 July 2010, 32 naval vessels and five submarines from seven nations departed Pearl Harbor to participate in Phase II of RIMPAC 2010. This phase included live fire gunnery and missile exercises; maritime interdiction and vessel boardings; and anti-surface warfare, undersea warfare, naval maneuvers and air defense exercises. Participants also collaborated in explosive ordnance disposal; diving and salvage operations; mine clearance operations; and amphibious operations.[12] Phase III involved scenario-driven exercises designed to further strengthen maritime skills and capabilities.[12]

During RIMPAC 2010, over 40 naval personnel from Singapore, Japan, Australia, Chile, Peru, and Colombia managed combat exercises while serving aboard the Ronald Reagan (pictured). This involved managing anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare for Carrier Strike Group Seven and the entire RIMPAC force, including the use of radar, charts, and high-tech devices to monitor, chart, and communicate with other ships and submarines. Tactical action officers from the different countries coordinated the overall operational picture and provided direction and administration to the enlisted personnel involved in the Sea Combat Control (SCC) activities.[13] Also, Reagan conducted a live Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) launch, firing at a simulated target, the first since 2007.[10][11]

On 30 July 2010, RIMPAC 2010 concluded with a press conference held at Merry Point Landing on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.[9] A reception for over 1,500 participants, distinguished visitors and special guests was held in the hangar bays of the carrier Reagan.[10]

During RIMPAC 2010, participating countries conducted three sinking exercises (SINKEX) involving 140 discrete live-fire events that included 30 surface-to-air engagements, 40 air-to-air missile engagements, 12 surface-to-surface engagements, 76 laser-guided bombs, and more than 1,000 rounds of naval gunfire from 20 surface combatant warships.[9] Units flew more than 3100 air sorties, completed numerous maritime interdiction and vessel boardings, explosive ordnance disposal, diving and salvage operations and mine clearance operations and 10 major experiments, with the major one being the U.S. Marine Corps Enhanced Company Operations experiment.[9] Ground forces from five countries completed five amphibious landings, including nine helicopter-borne amphibious landings and 560 troops from ship-to-shore mission. In all, 960 different training events were scheduled and 96 percent were completed in all areas of the Hawaiian operations area, encompassing Kāneʻohe Bay, Bellows Air Force Station, the Pacific Missile Range Facility, and the Pohakuloa Training Area.[9]


RIMPAC 2012 is the 23rd exercise in the series and started on 29 June 2012. 42 ships, including the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN-68) and other elements of Carrier Strike Group 11, six submarines,[14] 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel from 22 nations took part in Hawaii. The exercise involved surface combatants from the U.S., Canada, Japan, Australia, South Korea and Chile.[15] The US Navy demonstrated its 'Great Green Fleet' of biofuel-driven vessels for which it purchased 450,000 gallons of biofuel, the largest single purchase of biofuel in history at a cost of $12m.[16] On July 17, USNS Henry J. Kaiser (T-AO-187) delivered 900,000 gallons of biofuel and traditional petroleum-based fuel to the Nimitz's Carrier Strike Group 11.[17]

The exercises included units or personnel from Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, Tonga, the United Kingdom and the United States.[18][19] Russia participated actively for the first time,[2] as did the Philippines, reportedly due to the escalating tensions with the People's Republic of China over ownership of Scarborough Shoal.[20]

RIMPAC 2012 marked the debut of the U.S. Navy's new P-8A Poseidon land-based anti-submarine patrol aircraft, with two P-8As participating in 24 RIMPAC exercise scenarios as part of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron One (VX-1) based at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe Bay.[21]

RIMPAC 2012 was the setting for the 2012 film Battleship.


Multinational task force in RIMPAC 2014.

RIMPAC 2014 was the 24th exercise in the series and took place from June 26 to August 1, with an opening reception on June 26 and closing reception August 1.[1]

For the first time, the Royal Norwegian Navy actively participated in the exercise. Norway sent one Fridtjof Nansen-class frigate and possibly Norwegian marine special forces.[28] China was also invited to send ships from their People's Liberation Army Navy; marking not only the first time China participated in a RIMPAC exercise, but also the first time China participated in a large-scale United States-led naval drill.[29] On June 9, 2014, China confirmed it would be sending four ships to the exercise, a destroyer, frigate, supply ship, & hospital ship.[30][31]

This year's RIMPAC participants are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Tonga, the United Kingdom, and the United States.[32] Thailand was uninvited from the exercise following a May 22 military coup. Thailand's absence means that 22 nations participated in RIMPAC instead of the 23 that had been advertised.[33] The exercise involved 55 vessels, more than 200 aircraft, and some 25,000 personnel.[22][34]


In December 2015, US Defence Secretary Ash Carter and Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar announced that India would participate in RIMPAC 2016.[35]


RIMPAC experiments have included a range of sectors important to international militaries. In RIMPAC 2000, for example, the first of the Strong Angel international humanitarian response demonstrations was held on the Big Island of Hawai'i near Pu'u Pa'a. That series continued with events in the summer of 2004 and again in 2006.

Participants have also conducted exercises in ship-sinking and torpedo usage. They also have tested new naval vessels and technology. For example, in 2004, the United States Navy tested the Australian built HSV-2 Swift, a 321-foot experimental wave-piercing catamaran that draws only 11 feet of water, has a top speed of almost 50 knots, and can transport 605 tons of cargo.


  1. 1.0 1.1 "RIMPAC 2014". Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet. Retrieved 10 June 2014. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Russian Warships Arrive at U.S. Pearl Harbor for Joint Drills." RIA Novosti. 1 July 2012.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Ships of RIMPAC 2004". http://www.cpf.navy.mil. Archived from the original on 8 March 2005. Retrieved 3 July 2014.  External link in |website= (help)
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Submarines of RIMPAC 2004". http://www.cpf.navy.mil. Archived from the original on 1 April 2005. Retrieved 3 July 2014.  External link in |website= (help)
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Aircraft of RIMPAC 2004". http://www.cpf.navy.mil. Archived from the original on 6 March 2005. Retrieved 5 July 2014.  External link in |website= (help)
  6. Barber, Barrie. "RIMPAC 2004 Packs A Punch In Joint Exercise Near Hawaii". http://www.navy.mil. Retrieved 3 July 2014.  External link in |website= (help)
  7. "Admiral Patrick M. Walsh (ret.) - iSIGHT Partners". http://www.isightpartners.com. Retrieved 3 July 2014.  External link in |website= (help)
  8. 8.0 8.1 Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Mark Logico, USN. "RIMPAC 2010 Officially Opens". NNS100629-22. Commander Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs. Retrieved 2011-12-28. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Robert Stirrup, USN (2 August 2010). "RIMPAC 2010 Officially Concludes as Ships Return to Pearl Harbor". NNS100802-16. Commander, Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs. Retrieved 2011-12-28. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Stephen Votaw, USN (8 August 2008). "USS Ronald Reagan Returns from RIMPAC 2010". NNS100808-01. USS Ronald Reagan Public Affairs. Retrieved 2011-12-28. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Aaron Stevens, USN (30 June 2010). "USS Ronald Reagan Arrives in Hawaii for RIMPAC 2010". NNS100630-09. USS Ronald Reagan Public Affairs. Retrieved 2011-12-28. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Robert Stirrup, USN (9 July 2010). "Ships Depart Pearl Harbor for RIMPAC 2010 Exercises". NNS100708-18. Commander, Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs. Retrieved 2011-12-28. 
  13. Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Stephen Votaw, USN (24 July 2010). "USS Ronald Reagan Hosts International Navies for Sea Combat Control Exercises During RIMPAC 2010". NNS100724-06. USS Ronald Reagan Public Affairs. Retrieved 2011-12-28. 
  14. 14.0 14.1 "RIMPAC 2012: participating vessels by country". Naval Technology. Retrieved 18 June 2012. 
  15. "RIMPAC 2012". US Navy. Retrieved 18 June 2012. 
  16. "RIMPAC 2012: Great Green Fleet, communications and Yellow Sea security". Naval Technology. Retrieved 18 June 2012. 
  17. USNS Henry J. Kaiser delivers biofuel for RIMPAC's Great Green Fleet demo
  18. "RIMPAC Units Continue To Arrive In Hawaii". US Navy. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  19. "RIMPAC exercise to begin June 29". US Navy. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  20. "RP participates in RIMPAC 2012". Chinese state media. Retrieved 27 June 2012. 
  21. "VX-1 Flies P-8 Poseidon during RIMPAC 2012". NNS120729-04. RIMPAC Public Affairs. July 29, 2012. Retrieved 2012-07-30. 
  22. 22.0 22.1 "RIMPAC 2014 Participating Forces". http://www.cpf.navy.mil. Retrieved 28 June 2014.  External link in |website= (help)
  23. "Air of excitement as Success departs for RIMPAC". http://news.navy.gov.au. Retrieved 2 August 2014.  External link in |website= (help)
  24. Pugliese, David (2 July 2014). "HMCS Victoria arrives in Pearl Harbor to take part in RIMPAC 2014". http://ottawacitizen.com. Retrieved 2 August 2014.  External link in |work= (help)
  25. LaGrone, Sam (18 July 2014). "China Sends Uninvited Spy Ship to RIMPAC". news.usni.org. U.S. NAVAL INSTITUTE. Retrieved 29 July 2014. 
  26. "ROKS Lee Sun Sin departs, RIMPAC 2014 [Image 17 of 17]". http://www.dvidshub.net. Retrieved 2 August 2014.  External link in |website= (help)
  27. Pugliese, David (15 July 2014). "Navy ship ordered back to Canada from California due to personal misconduct from sailors". National Post. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  28. http://www.vg.no/nyheter/utenriks/artikkel.php?artid=10148449
  29. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/22/us-usa-china-drill-idUSBRE92L18A20130322
  30. "China confirms attendance at U.S.-hosted naval exercises in June". Reuters. 9 June 2014. Retrieved 10 June 2014. 
  31. Tiezzi, Shannon (11 June 2014). "A 'Historic Moment': China's Ships Head to RIMPAC 2014". TheDiplomat.com. Retrieved 10 June 2014. 
  32. http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014/05/08/23-nations-to-participate-in-maritime-exercise.html
  33. Cole, William (25 June 2014). "Military coup gets Thailand booted from RIMPAC lineup". StarAdvertiser.com. Retrieved 26 June 2014. 
  34. Brunnstrom, David; Alexander, David (26 June 2014). "China looks to gain by joining big U.S.-led Pacific naval drills". Reuters.com. Reuters. Retrieved 26 June 2014. 
  35. http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/india-to-participate-in-exercises-rimpac-and-red-flag-in-us-next-year/

External links