- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 1, 2022

More than 40 warships and submarines, along with 25,000 personnel and more than 170 combat aircraft from 26 nations are heading to Hawaii to take part in the biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercises, the world’s largest international maritime drill.

RIMPAC 2022, scheduled for June 29-Aug. 4, will be the 28th exercise in a series that began in 1971. The naval maneuvers will take place in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California, Navy officials said Wednesday.

The participating nations will take part in a variety of drills to “exercise a wide range of capabilities and demonstrate the inherent flexibility of maritime forces,” according to officials in the Navy’s 3rd Fleet, which is in command of RIMPAC 2022.

They will conduct disaster relief and maritime security missions, including amphibious operations, gunnery drills, anti-submarine and air-defense exercises, counter-piracy missions and mine-clearing, among other drills, officials said.

Pacific nations including Australia, Japan, India, South Korea and European countries such as the United Kingdom, France and Germany are sending forces to take part in RIMPAC 2022. They will train and operate together “in order to strengthen their collective forces and promote a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Navy officials said.

RIMPAC 2020 had to be scaled back due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The head of the 3rd Fleet will serve as the combined task force commander with a Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force admiral serving as vice commander. An Australian admiral will be the maritime force commander and a Canadian Air Force general will serve as commander of air operations for RIMPAC 2022, officials said.

• Mike Glenn can be reached at mglenn@washingtontimes.com.

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