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Philippines to join world’s largest maritime drill

Pia Lee Brago - The Philippine Star
Philippines to join worldâs largest maritime drill
FILE - Multinational navy ships and a submarine steam in formation during a group sail off the coast of Hawaii during Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2020, August 21.
Royal Canadian Navy / MS Dan Bard

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines and 25 other nations will participate in the world’s largest international maritime exercise hosted by the United States – the biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC), scheduled June 29 to Aug. 4, in and around the Hawaiian islands and Southern California, the US Navy announced.

Twenty-six nations, 38 surface ships, four submarines, nine national land forces, more than 170 aircraft and approximately 25,000 personnel will participate in RIMPAC 2022, the 28th exercise in the series that began in 1971.

This year’s exercise includes forces from Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru,  Republic of Korea, Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tonga, the United Kingdom and the United States.

“As the world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity designed to foster and sustain cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s interconnected oceans,” the US Navy said in a statement.

The theme of RIMPAC 2022 is “Capable, Adaptive, Partners.” Participating nations and forces will exercise a wide range of capabilities and demonstrate the inherent flexibility of maritime forces. These capabilities range from disaster relief and maritime security operations to sea control and complex war fighting.

The relevant, realistic training program includes amphibious operations, gunnery, missile, anti-submarine and air defense exercises, as well as counter-piracy operations, mine clearance operations, explosive ordnance disposal, and diving and salvage operations.

Hosted by Commander of US Pacific Fleet, RIMPAC 2022 will be led by Commander, US 3rd Fleet, who will serve as Combined Task Force (CTF) commander. Royal Canadian Navy Rear Adm. Christopher Robinson will serve as deputy commander of the CTF, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Rear Adm. Toshiyuki Hirata as vice commander, and Fleet Marine Force will be led by US Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Joseph Clearfield.

Other key leaders of the multinational force will include Commodore Paul O’Grady of the Royal Australian Navy, who will command the maritime component, and Brig. Gen. Mark Goulden of the Royal Canadian Air Force, who will command the air component.

During RIMPAC, a network of capable, adaptive partners train and operate together in order to strengthen their collective forces and promote a free and open Indo-Pacific.

RIMPAC 2022 contributes to the increased interoperability, resiliency and agility needed by the Joint and Combined Force to deter and defeat aggression by major powers across all domains and levels of conflict.

In May 2018, the US disinvited the People’s Liberation Army of China from participating in the 2018 RIMPAC due to China’s behavior in the South China Sea that was “inconsistent with the spirit of the exercise.”

The US Department of Defense said countries that participated in RIMPAC do share the spirit of the exercise which is to “promote international law, international norms.”

RIMPAC

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