Operations

RIMPAC 2020 wraps up

HMCS Regina fires two Harpoon Surface to Surface missiles in the Pacific Range Facility Barking Sands, off the coast of Hawaii while participating in Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2020, August 29, 2020. PHOTO: MS Dan Bard, Canadian Forces Combat Camera.

This week the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) Task Group, comprised of approximately 500 personnel on board HMC Ships Regina and Winnipeg, successfully completed Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2020, concluding an intensive two-week program that entailed multinational anti-submarine warfare, maritime interdiction operations, and live-fire training events.

Vice-Admiral Art McDonald, Commander, Royal Canadian Navy, says he’s very proud of how naval personnel represented the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) during this year’s version of RIMPAC.

He continued, “Canadian security and prosperity rely increasingly on our relations in the Asia-Pacific: our longstanding participation in RIMPAC highlights our ongoing commitment to working with allies and trusted partners to foster peace and stability in the region.”

From August 17 to 31, sailors and aviators trained alongside navies from allied and trusted partner nations from the Asia Pacific region. Hosted biennially by the U.S. Navy’s Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, this year’s exercise was designed as an at-sea only event to address concerns around COVID-19.

Twenty-two surface ships, one submarine, multiple aircraft, and approximately 5,300 personnel from Australia, Brunei, Canada, France, Japan, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, the Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, and the United States participated in RIMPAC 2020.

The two Cyclones and their crews performed exceptionally well during RIMPAC 2020, successfully marking the first occasion the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) has deployed these helicopters in the biennial exercise.

“We gained invaluable training experience, improved our ability to operate in a coalition environment, proved key combat capabilities, and fostered trust amongst allies and partner navies while ensuring the health and wellbeing of our sailors and aviators,” says Captain (N) Scott Robinson, Task Group Commander.

Several steps were taken to reduce the naval team’s risk, both in sea-going and shore-based units in relation to COVID-19. These include increased cleaning routines onboard ships, personal hygiene, and physical distancing when possible onboard. Some additional steps were taken to protect the health and operational effectiveness of sailors.

Twenty-two surface ships, one submarine, multiple aircraft, and approximately 5,300 personnel from Australia, Brunei, Canada, France, Japan, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, the Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, and the United States participated in RIMPAC 2020.

Canada is an original participant in RIMPAC and is one of only three nations to have participated in every rendition of the 27 RIMPACs since its inception in 1971.

The next phase of HMCS Winnipeg’s deployment will be participation in Operation PROJECTION Asia-Pacific, which demonstrates Canada’s ongoing commitment to global peace and shows how the RCN is ready to defend Canada’s interests in the region.

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Julia Lennips

Julia is a journalist who is an avid reader and an artist. She is living in North Bay, ON pursing her passion for reporting.

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