Australia was among 26 nations to participate in what has been dubbed as the largest multinational maritime exercise.
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Approximately 1,600 personnel from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) have completed Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) — a large-scale international maritime exercise conducted in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California from 29 June to 4 August 2022.
The exercise featured 38 surface ships, three submarines, nine national land forces, more than 170 aircraft and approximately 25,000 personnel from 26 nations.
The Australian contingent included HMA Ships Canberra, Supply and Warramunga, two RAAF P-8A Poseidon aircraft, mine warfare and clearance diving capabilities, and a joint landing force led by the Townsville-based 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment.
Australia’s key achievements during this year’s 18th iteration, included:
- Auxiliary oiler replenishment ship HMAS Supply’s first participation in an international exercise, conducting 22 replenishments at sea to transfer over seven million litres of fuel.
- Two United States Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey aircraft and support personnel embarked and integrated into HMAS Canberra for the duration of RIMPAC.
- RAAF and Indian Navy P-8 aircraft worked together to conduct anti-submarine warfare.
- The Australian Army led a multinational landing force with ground elements from Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Tonga, Mexico and the United States.
- RAN clearance divers practiced underwater mine clearance and explosive ordnance disposal and worked with their peers from Canada, Mexico, the Netherlands and the United States.
Commodore Paul O’Grady, DSM, CSM, RAN, who led the maritime component of the exercise, noted the importance of “interchangeability” to improve security in the region.
“RIMPAC demonstrates that we have the architecture to integrate forces, platforms and capabilities; and enables us to learn more about our partners and ourselves,” he said.
“The return to a full-scale exercise this year demonstrated capable, adaptive partners working together to increase the interoperability, resiliency, and agility needed by the joint and combined force.”
RIMPAC has concluded ahead of the commencement of Exercise Pitch Black, which is set to involve 100 aircraft and 2,500 military personnel from 17 nations.
The counterparts are set to engage in aircraft training in the Top End from 19 August to 8 September.
Touted as the RAAF’s most significant international engagement activity, Exercise Pitch Black aims to develop and enhance military relationships.
The three-week multinational large force employment exercise will be conducted primarily from RAAF Base Darwin and RAAF Base Tindal.
This year’s iteration would also involve operations out of RAAF Base Amberley.
Activities are expected to include day and night flying involving approximately 100 participating aircraft.
[Related: NSW to host Exercise Teak Action 22 ]