RIMPAC is one of the most significant, multilateral naval exercises in the world for the United States and allied countries in the Indo-Pacific. It’s an important and visible sign of the U.S. and allied commitment to the freedom and security of the Indo-Pacific region.
A statement from the United States Navy explained that “as the world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity designed to foster and sustain cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s interconnected oceans.”
For this year, it’s all about the United States allies. “The theme of RIMPAC 2022 is “Capable, Adaptive, Partners.” Participating nations and forces will exercise a wide range of capabilities and demonstrate the inherent flexibility of maritime forces,” the U.S. Navy statement said.
“These capabilities range from disaster relief and maritime security operations to sea control and complex warfighting. The relevant, realistic training program includes 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.”
This year’s iteration of the RIMPAC exercise included vessels from twenty-six countries, including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, 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, and the United States.
The leadership of this year’s RIMPAC leans heavily on America and its allies. The exercise will be “led by Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, who will serve as Combined Task Force (CTF) commander,” and “Royal Canadian Navy Rear Adm. Christopher Robinson will serve as deputy commander of the CTF, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Rear Adm. Toshiyuki Hirata as the vice commander, and Fleet Marine Force will be led by U.S. Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Joseph Clearfield.”
“Other key leaders of the multinational force,” the statement explained, “will include Commodore Paul O’Grady of the Royal Australian Navy, who will command the maritime component, and Brig. Gen. Mark Goulden of the Royal Canadian Air Force, who will command the air component.”
The annual exercise is a highly visible, highly capable demonstration of the United States and its allies and partners’ resolve to preserve the freedom and security of the Indo-Pacific. The Navy statement explained that “During RIMPAC, a network of capable, adaptive partners train and operate together in order to strengthen their collective forces and promote a free and open Indo-Pacific. RIMPAC 2022 contributes to the increased interoperability, resiliency and agility needed by the Joint and Combined Force to deter and defeat aggression by major powers across all domains and levels of conflict.”
Caleb Larson is a multimedia journalist and defense writer with the National Interest. A graduate of UCLA, he also holds a Master of Public Policy and lives in Berlin. He covers the intersection of conflict, security, and technology, focusing on American foreign policy, European security, and German society for both print and radio. Follow him on Twitter @calebmlarson.
Image: Flickr/U.S. Navy.