The 2022 edition of the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercises will see key US partners deploying their naval assets in the world’s largest naval war games.
The 26-nation exercise includes the four Quad members (Australia, India, Japan, and the US) and five nations bordering the South China Sea (the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, and Singapore).
The other 17 participants are Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Germany, Israel, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, the Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tonga, and the UK.
25,000 Personnel to Participate
Thirty-eight surface ships, four submarines, more than 170 aircraft, and approximately 25,000 personnel, including nine national land forces, will take part in the biennial exercise from June 29 to August 4 in Honolulu and San Diego, the US Navy’s 3rd Fleet said in a statement.
Participants will practice a range of maneuvers, including “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.”
To Ensure ‘Free and Open Indo-Pacific’
The exercise draws on the collective strengths of participants, intended to “ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific.”
The joint exercise will help the partner nations enhance the “interoperability, resilience, and agility” needed to ensure safe sea lanes and “deter and defeat aggression by major powers across all domains and levels of conflict.”
America’s ‘Political Clout’ on Display
A former director of operations at the US Pacific Command’s Joint Intelligence Center, Carl Schuster, told CNN that the “line up” in the exercise shows that America’s “political clout” is still intact worldwide.
“It signifies the strength and breadth of America’s global maritime partnerships, a very important deterrent signal to any potential aggressors who may believe Washington’s influence and strategic position, especially that of its navy, is in decline.
“RIMPAC’s broad international participation proves that is not the case,” Schuster said.