RIMPAC, or Rim of the Pacific Exercises, ends today, Friday, August 3. The maritime military preparedness exercise happens every two years in waters off Honolulu and in skies over the state. Here on Hawaii Island, residents have often heard the high-flying fighter jets, even if they couldn’t be seen. It is always hosted by the Pacific Command, headquartered at Camp Smith on Oahu.
This year’s RIMPAC started on June 27. More than 25,000 personnel from 22 countries took part in this year’s event. There were 42 ships, 6 submarines, and more than 200 aircraft. Some have called RIMPAC the maritime military’s Olympics. RIMPAC brings together military from nations around the world to do mock military exercises. The main focus is on mutual training, with other nations and the United States working to standardize working procedures and coordinate efforts so that if there ever is a need for nations to cooperate in a real-life military situation, they know how to operate together better.
Countries involved this year in addition to the United States have been Australia, Canada, Chile, Columbia, France, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Republic of Korea, Russia, and Singapore. There have also been military personnel from India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Republic of Philippines, Thailand, Tonga, and the United Kingdom.
In addition to providing excellent training, the exercise has provided a boost for tourism, mostly on Oahu.