RIMPAC (Rim of the Pacific Exercise) is the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise. Held biennially during June-July from Honolulu, Hawaii, which was started in 1971, is hosted and administered by the United States Navy’s Pacific Fleet, headquartered at Pearl Harbour. The main reason why such exercise is held in this region is quite obvious – this is perhaps the only place on planet Earth that any future major conflicts could trigger the next World War 3.
Besides, Pearl Harbour was the only United States naval base attacked by the Empire of Japan on Dec 7, 1941, dealing a major humiliation to the superpower’s military strength and readiness. Of course, strategically, United States already have a good coverage in Europe, Japan and Philippines thus a presence in the middle of Pacific Ocean serves as an excellent defence layer between America and Asia.
While RIMPAC acronym is alien to many readers, “Pacific Rim”, a 2013 American science fiction monster film about Earth fighting Kaijus was a box office which earned a whopping US$411 million worldwide. Did the film gets its name from RIMPAC? Nevertheless, the storyline of RIMPAC closely resembles “Battleship”, another 2012 American military science fiction war film about a 2012 RIMPAC exercise that actually met some alien spacecraft which arrived thanks to NASA signal.
This year’s RIMPAC, the 24th in the series which is scheduled from June 26 to August 1, involves 22 nations, 49 surface ships, 6 submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel. Participants include units from Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the People’s Republic of China, Peru, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, Tonga, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Yes, for the first time since RIMPAC’s inception, China is actually participating although the country and United States have had numerous military confrontations. Even during such RIMPAC exercise, China sent an uninvited Dongdiao-class auxiliary general intelligence (AGI) ship, of which U.S. top commander Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III claimed was spying but he “welcomes” it.
U.S. Navy has recently released some awesome photos about RIMPAC exercise, particularly on the American’s strength. One of them was the 42 ships and submarines representing 15 international partner nations steam in close formation – led by USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). Others include People’s Republic of China, People’s Liberation Army (Navy) ship Qiandaohu (AO 886), attack submarine USS Charlotte (SSN 766) and hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19).
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