The biennial Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) which featured approximately 25,000 personnel from 26 nations and included the participation of 38 surface ships, three submarines, more than 170 aircraft and nine national land forces, concluded on August 4. The exercises were conducted in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California.
RIMPAC 2022 Combined Task Force Commander, US Navy Vice Adm. Michael Boyle said, “By coming together as Capable, Adaptive Partners, and in the scale that we are, we are making a statement about our commitment to work together, to foster and sustain those relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of the sea lanes and the security of the world's interconnected oceans.”
RIMPAC 2022 witnessed the first embedded use of the MQ-9A and MQ-9B Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), and the Unmanned Surface Vessels (USV) Nomad, Ranger, Sea Hawk and Sea Hunter; with data and knowledge sharing amongst 13 countries, including Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Peru, India, France, Chile, Mexico, Singapore and Indonesia.
In another RIMPAC first, two US Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey aircraft were embarked on the Australian amphibious ship HMAS Canberra for the duration of the entire exercise. P-8 aircraft belonging to Australia and India also conducted joint Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) missions.
The Commander of the Australian Contingent, Commodore Paul O’Grady, led the 19 nation maritime component of the exercise. “RIMPAC demonstrates that we have the architecture to integrate forces, platforms and capabilities; and enables us to learn more about our partners and ourselves,” he said, adding, “The return to a full-scale exercise this year, demonstrated capable, adaptive partners working together to increase the interoperability, resiliency, and agility needed by the joint and combined force.”
The Australian contingent featured approximately 1,600 personnel, HMA Ships Canberra, Supply and Warramunga, two Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) P-8A Poseidon aircraft, Mine Warfare and Clearance Diving capabilities, and a Joint Landing Force led by the Townsville-based 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment.
The Australian Army led a Multi-National Landing Force with ground elements from Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Tonga, Mexico and the United States. RIMPAC also witnessed the maiden participation of the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) new Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment ship HMAS Supply, which conducting 22 replenishments at sea to transfer over seven million litres of fuel.