About 25,000 naval personnel and 52 ships and submarines from 26 countries will participate in this year’s Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise, which begins on Wednesday.
RIMPAC, the world’s largest international maritime exercise, includes rehearsal scenarios that cover disaster relief, amphibious operations, anti-piracy work, missile shots, mine clearance, maritime security, anti-submarine warfare and air defense operations, according to a statement released by U.S. 3rd Fleet.
During the course of the exercise, a series of live-fire events are scheduled, including a long-range anti-ship missile (LRASM) shot by a U.S. Air Force aircraft; a surface-to-ship missile shot by members of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force; and a naval strike missile (NSM) shot by the U.S. Army from a launcher on the back of a palletized load system (PLS), marking the first time a land-based unit is participating in a RIMPAC live-fire event, according to the 3rd Fleet statement.
Joining the U.S. military this year at RIMPAC are forces from the following nations: Australia, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tonga, the United Kingdom, the United States and Vietnam.
China had initially been invited to participate in this year’s RIMPAC but had its invitation revoked in May due to the nation’s continued militarization of artificial islands in the South China Sea, according to Pentagon officials.
In total, the exercise will involve 26 nations, 25,000 personnel, land forces from 18 countries, 47 surface ships, five submarines and more than 200 aircraft. The exercise spans from June 27 to Aug. 2 in both the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California.
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