RIMPAC Exercise Emphasizes Cooperation in Maritime Security
By Air Force Staff Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal
Defense Media Activity - Hawaii
JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii, July 2, 2014 The Rim of the Pacific biennial maritime security exercise now underway is a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans, the commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet said this week.
Navy Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet, answers questions about the 2014 Rim of the Pacific international maritime exercise during a news conference on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, June 30, 2014. Twenty-two nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in the exercise. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
“I think it’s important to note that by simply attending RIMPAC, every nation here is making the bold statement that we must improve multilateral military cooperation despite disagreements,” Navy Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr. said June 30.
“Today, maritime cooperation is more vital than ever,” Harris added. “For centuries, the world’s oceans kept us apart, but in this increasingly globalized world, the world’s oceans bring us together.”
Participating nations will conduct training ashore and out at sea in a coalition and joint effort during this 24th RIMPAC exercise.
“It’s going to be very valuable training, but make no mistake -- it’s going to be very hard work,” said Navy Vice Adm. Kenneth E. Floyd, Combined Task Force commander. “I’m already proud and very honored to have the opportunity to lead the 25,000 people from 22 different countries on the RIMPAC team this year, and I’m looking forward to all that they are about to do out on the high seas.”
Harris said that building mutual trust and opening lines of communication are critical for success. RIMPAC offers participants the chance to work alongside other nations in preparation for real world events, he added, and the exercise is designed to strengthen rebalancing efforts in the Asia-Pacific region.
“The rebalance is based on a strategy of cooperation and collaboration, and that’s why it’s imperative that we work together to build trust and confidence to solve our collective maritime challenges,” Harris said. “When great nations work together, we can accomplish great things. Collaboration and cooperation -- that’s why we’re here: to learn together, to operate together and to sail together.”
The exercise began June 26 and ends Aug. 1.