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RIMPAC 2016: World’s largest international maritime exercise concludes

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) has successfully completed another year of the world’s largest, international, maritime exercise, Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2016.

From June 30 to Aug. 4, close to 1500 Canadian sailors, soldiers and airmen and airwomen successfully integrated with 25,000 military personnel from 25 other nations using Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) vessels, Canadian Army equipment, and Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) aircrafts.

“RIMPAC 2016 was a tremendous exercise. It provided the Canadian Armed Forces with a rare opportunity to work with so many other nations and practice skills that we will use in disaster relief, humanitarian assistance, and – if necessary – military operations in a multinational coalition. I am proud of our contribution to RIMPAC and what our personnel achieved together. We have reinforced that Canada is a Pacific nation and have demonstrated that we are, indeed capable, adaptive partners in Asia-Pacific security,” said RAdm. Scott Bishop, RIMPAC 2016 Deputy Commander Combined Task Force.

The CAF members were joined in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California by more than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel.

During the course of the exercise, the RCN members took part in various training scenarios such as anti-submarine warfare, maritime interdiction operations, mine sweeping and neutralization, command and control and communication operations, ship maneuvering, standard naval drills (including firefighting, man overboard exercises, etc), weapons firings, and sea combat.

The Canadian Army was part of an amphibious force that was integrated with the U.S. Marines and Chilean Army in Southern California. Canadian Army members also took part in various multinational training events including complex live fire ranges, fast roping aviation drills for a variety of airframes, helo-casting, Modular Amphibious Egress Training, as well as participating in a non-combatant evacuation operation.

The RCAF deployed one of its largest ever Air Task Forces to RIMPAC 2016. All detachments were integrated to participate in training scenarios in maritime patrol, Humanitarian Disaster Relief Assistance, fighters, and coalition air-to-air refueling.

During the course of the exercise, the RCAF conducted anti-submarine warfare operations, offensive and defensive air-to-air tactics, deck landing and joint and collective army training with the US Marine Corps in southern California, and live missile shoots including participation in the SINKEX – a targeting and live firing exercise to sink a decommissioned ship.

“RIMPAC 2016 marks the first time the Royal Canadian Air Force deployed an Air Task Force composed of elements from every one of Canada’s air combat capabilities. It was an honour and a privilege to serve as the RIMPAC 2016 Combined Forces Air Component Commander, and to see our airwomen and airmen integrate seamlessly into the multinational contingent,” said BGen. Blaise Frawley, RIMPAC 2016 Combined Forces Air Component Commander.

RIMPAC 2016 was the 25th edition of this exercise that has been running since 1971. It is held every two years and is lead by Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet and executed by Commander, U.S. 3rd fleet.

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MIshall Rehman

Originally from Atlanta, GA, Mishall is a freelance journalist pursuing her passion for writing in her new homeland Canada. She currently lives in Trenton, ON with her husband.

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