The U.S. Navy says the navies of India, Australia, France, Russia, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, and others are meeting in Hawaii to participate in a joint exercise, which started on July 2.
• The exercise is based in Hawaii and is hosted by the US Navy's Pacific Fleet.
• This joint operation includes 22 nations, 40 ships, 6 submarines, and over 200 aircraft operating all over the Pacific.
• This exercise is designed to improve cooperation in tactical maritime operations at sea and features various navies working cooperatively on mutually agreed to goals.
• It also includes a humanitarian assistance/disaster relief rehearsal which lasts for five days, where navies and ground forces respond to a simulated natural disaster.
• Approximately 45,000 military members from all countries will be available for the duration of the operations.
• This is an exercise that will also include many ships visiting allied countries around the rim of the Pacific Ocean, where they will familiarize themselves with regional facilities.
• Exercise RIMPAC has greatly improved coordination abilities with the participating nations, and navies have learned a lot about how the others work and have practiced operating together.
• This exercise has expanded this year to include seven new countries including Russia, which contributed four warships.
• Not all regional countries are included, some countries that were left out are China and Pakistan.
• Many regional navies are included, such as many of the Pacific countries in South America.
• Indian news sources such as the Telegraph observe that there are concerns that this exercise could cause worries in China, which has recently had more military exchanges with India.
• But for now, the Indian delegation includes a very senior officer and their staff. This indicates the priority given to such cooperation by the government of India.
• The U.S. is currently withdrawing from its entanglements in Southwest Asia, and is rolling out a new strategic vision based in the Pacific.
• Countries such as India could be valuable allies in the future, especially as they improve their air cargo fleet.
• For smaller navies, operating with the U.S. Navy and the navies of Russia and other developed nations could let them see other equipment such as helicopters in action.
• RIMPAC is held every other year, and it will be interesting to see which countries participate in RIMPAC 2014.
Charles Phillips was an Air Force officer from 1978 until he retired in 2005 (working in space, communications, and maintenance), first in the Active Duty for ten years, then in the Texas Air National Guard for ten years, and last in the Air Force Reserve for eight years. He has been a writer all of that time. Now he finds the stories that people are interested in but might have been missed by other reporters.