This year’s Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC), the world’s largest international maritime exercise, will take place from June 27 to August 2. More than 1,000 Canadian sailors, soldiers, and aviators are set to join 24,000 personnel from 25 nations for RIMPAC, which will take place in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California.
The largest part of Canada’s contingent is made up of 675 sailors from the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN). The Canadian Army is sending about 170 soldiers from Camp Pendleton in Southern California, and Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) will provide 75 members.
As part of this exercise, the RCN is sending two Frigates, Her Majesty’s Canadian (HMC) Ships Ottawa and Vancouver, Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment ship MV Asterix, and maritime coastal defence vessels, HMC Ships Yellowknife and Whitehorse. The RCAF is providing a CP-140 Maritime Patrol Aircraft and a deployable mission support centre.
“Canada is an important ally in the Asia-Pacific region. Participating in RIMPAC is just one example of how our Canadian Armed Forces continue to support Canada’s engagement and leadership in the region,” said Harjit S. Sajjan, Defence Minister.
RIMPAC will focus on a wide range of capabilities from disaster relief to maritime security operations and complex warfighting according to a press release.
Canada has participated in every RIMPAC exercise since its inception in 1971. At this year’s training, several Canadian officers will hold critical positions:
o Rear Admiral Bob Auchterlonie is the Combined Task Force Deputy Commander, second-in-command of all international forces within the exercise
o Captain (Navy) Matthew Coates is the maritime component Deputy Commander
o Colonel Michael Atkins is the air component Deputy Commander
o Colonel Dennis O’Reilly is the Combined Air Operations Centre Director
o Captain (Navy) Matthew Bowen is the Deputy Exercise Director
“RIMPAC offers a uniquely complex and challenging multinational environment for Canadian Armed Forces personnel to hone their skills,” said Rear-Admiral Bob Auchterlonie, Commander Joint Task Force RIMPAC. “Our service men and women will represent Canada proudly, being leaders amongst allies.”
In total, there will be 47 surface ships, five submarines, 18 national land forces, and more than 200 aircraft at RIMPAC 2018.