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Democracies Send Message to China with Giant RIMPAC Exercise off Southern California

MilitaryDemocracies Send Message to China with Giant RIMPAC Exercise off Southern California

RIMPAC formationA submarine leads warships in formation during RIMPAC 2020. Navy photo

Ships, submarines and aircraft from the United States and 25 allied nations will gather in the Pacific Ocean off Southern California and Hawaii this month for the world’s largest naval exercise, the Navy announced.

The biennial Rim of the Pacific Exercise — RIMPAC for short — involves 38 surface warships, four submarines, 170 aircraft and 25,000 military personnel.

The exercise brings together naval and marine forces from the leading democracies in the region, including Japan, South Korea, Singapore, India, Australia and New Zealand as well as the United States, Canada and Mexico.

RIMPAC 2022, scheduled to take place June 29 to Aug. 4, is the 28th exercise in the series that began in 1971.

At a time of rising tensions between increasingly autocratic China and the island democracy of Taiwan, and with the war in Ukraine in the background, the exercise sends a message about the readiness of the democratic world to deter aggression in the Pacific.

The Navy on Tuesday described the exercise as 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 exercise will include amphibious operations; gunnery, missile, anti-submarine and air defense exercises; counter-piracy operations; mine clearance operations; explosive ordnance disposal; and diving and salvage operations.

RIMPAC will be led by Vice Adm. Steve Koehler, a San Diego native who is commander of the 3rd Fleet. Royal Canadian Navy Rear Adm. Christopher Robinson serves as deputy commander and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Rear Adm. Toshiyuki Hirata is the vice commander

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