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ADF joins 28 partner nations for world’s largest maritime exercise

About 320 members of the Australian Defence Force have joined partner nations for Exercise Rim of the Pacific 2024, held in and around the Hawaiian Islands.

About 320 members of the Australian Defence Force have joined partner nations for Exercise Rim of the Pacific 2024, held in and around the Hawaiian Islands.

Hosted by the Commander of the US Pacific Fleet, the world’s largest maritime exercise will be held between 27 June and 1 August 2024.

In support of the exercise, the Australian Defence Force contributed a Royal Australian Navy Hobart Class guided missile destroyer, HMAS Sydney, and a Royal Australian Air Force P-8A Poseidon, the Commonwealth has confirmed.


The exercise will feature 40 surface ships, three submarines, and 150 aircraft from 29 nations, with approximately 25,000 personnel.

RIMPAC24 demonstrates Australia’s ongoing willingness to support its existing regional partnerships, Chief of Joint Operations, Lieutenant General Greg Bilton said.

“Australia’s participation in RIMPAC reflects the closeness of our alliance with the United States and the strength of our military relationships with other regional defence partners,” LTGEN Bilton said.

“We face complex strategic challenges in the Indo-Pacific region, and the ADF will take every opportunity to assure our friends that Australia has the ability and the intent to stand by its alliances, agreements, and bilateral relationships.”

The exercise will cover a range of mission scenarios, including disaster response, humanitarian assistance, maritime security operations, and warfighting, RIMPAC24 Commander Australian Contingent, Air Commodore Louise Desjardins added.

“This year marks the first time HMAS Sydney will participate in RIMPAC, the ship and her crew will be evaluating capabilities in training and live fire exercises,” AIRCDRE Desjardins said.

“Air Force will deploy one P-8A Poseidon aircraft to contribute to high-end warfighting capabilities in realistic maritime scenarios aimed at enhancing interoperability.

“RIMPAC is a great opportunity for Australia to strengthen international partnerships and improve readiness for a wide range of potential operations.”

The start of RIMPAC24 comes a month after Australia, the United States, and Japan announced the creation of an inaugural missile defence live fire exercise in 2027 and cooperation across the areas of combat aircraft, autonomous systems, and composite aerospace materials.

The developments were announced following a meeting between Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Richard Marles, Japanese Minister of Defense Kihara Minoru, and US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III at the Trilateral Defense Ministerial Meeting in Hawaii on 2 May 2024.

Under the new arrangements, the US Armed Forces, Australian Defence Force, and Japan Self-Defense Forces will conduct an inaugural regional air and missile defence live fire exercise in 2027 at Exercise Talisman Sabre.

In addition, the ministers signed a trilateral Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation Projects Arrangement, allowing defence organisations to pursue areas of interest for operationally relevant advanced collaboration. The ministers will further discuss cooperative opportunities in the areas of collaborative combat aircraft and autonomous systems and composite aerospace materials.

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