Following the news that four Royal Australian Navy vessels and almost 700 ADF personnel arrived in Hawaii ahead of the two-week Exercise Rim of the Pacific 2020 (RIMPAC), the exercise (which involves 10 allied nations) has kicked off.
Ten nations, 22 surface ships, one submarine, multiple aircraft, and approximately 5,300 personnel will participate in an at-sea-only iteration of the biennial RIMPAC exercise scheduled 17-31 August in the waters around the Hawaiian islands.
Hosted by Commander, US Pacific Fleet, Exercise RIMPAC 2020 will be led by Commander, US 3rd Fleet, Vice Admiral Scott Conn, and will include forces from Australia, Brunei, Canada, France, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, and the US.
Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said Australia’s participation in this year’s RIMPAC exercise reflects the nation's close alliance with the US and the strength of Australia’s military relationships with its regional defence partners.
“As outlined in the recent 2020 Defence Strategic Update and Force Structure Plan, the government recognises the importance of our maritime forces as a vital element of our defence strategy, and exercises such as this are key to further enhancing our capabilities,” said Minister Reynolds.
“Ranging from multinational anti-submarine warfare to supporting joint humanitarian operations, by working with others – bilaterally, regionally and multilaterally – Australia can contribute to a more secure, stable Indo-Pacific region.”
Commander of the Australian contingent, Captain Phillipa Hay, CSC, said RIMPAC is the pinnacle of high-end military exercises.
“RIMPAC is a real test of Australia’s maritime military capability, from warfighting exercises to the missile firings,” CAPT Hay said.
HMA Ships Hobart, Stuart, Arunta and Sirius, which have recently been part of a regional deployment through south-east Asia, will take part in RIMPAC, making for the first time the Hobart Class guided missile destroyers have participated in RIMPAC.
Participating forces will exercise a wide range of capabilities, such as multinational anti-submarine warfare, maritime intercept operations, and live-fire training events, among other co-operative training opportunities.
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The theme of RIMPAC 2020 is “Capable, Adaptive, Partners”. Participating nations and forces will exercise a wide range of capabilities and demonstrate the inherent flexibility of maritime forces.
The realistic and relevant training syllabus includes multinational anti-submarine warfare, maritime intercept operations, and live-fire training events, among other co-operative training opportunities.