The international maritime exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2020 concluded Aug. 31 following two weeks of at-sea-only training events conducted around the Hawaiian Islands.
This year’s event included 53 replenishment-at-sea events, 101 pallets of cargo distributed, over 16,000 rounds of small arms munitions shot, over 1,000 large caliber weapons fired, 13 missiles expended, and 1,100 pounds of mail delivered.
Hosted by U.S. Pacific Fleet, RIMPAC 2020 was led by U.S. Vice Adm. Scott Conn, commander of the U.S. 3rd Fleet.
“Our formidable team of capable, adaptive partners has spent the last two weeks demonstrating that we have the resolve and ability to operate together in these challenging times,” said Conn. “We strengthened relationships and deepened our sense of trust in one another. Each one of our navies has something to offer and that diverse range of knowledge and professionalism is what makes us stronger, and allows us to work together to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific and ultimately, our collective prosperity.”
This year’s exercise includes forces from Australia, Brunei, Canada, France, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of the Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, and the United States.
The at-sea-only construct for RIMPAC 2020 was developed to ensure the safety of all military forces participating, and Hawaii’s population, by minimizing shore-based contingents, while striking a balance between combating future adversaries and the COVID-19 threat. Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet crafted the modified RIMPAC plan as a way to conduct a meaningful exercise with maximum training value and minimum risk to the force, allies and partners, and the people of Hawaii.
This RIMPAC marks the first time a non-U.S. military woman, Capt. Phillipa Hay of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), led a RIMPAC task force of more than 2,500 Sailors.
“I would like to extend my sincere appreciation and thanks to all participating nations in RIMPAC 2020. Our mutual commitment toward a free and open Indo-Pacific will ensure unfettered open access to the seas and airways upon which our people and economies depend, now and into the future,” said Adm. John C. Aquilino, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet.
The biennial exercise contributes to the increased lethality, resiliency, and agility needed by the Joint and Combined Force to deter and defeat aggression by major powers across all domains and levels of conflict. The exercise provides a unique training opportunity that strengthens international maritime partnerships, enhances interoperability, and improves the readiness of participating forces for a wide range of potential operations. The relevant, realistic training program included multinational anti-submarine warfare, maritime intercept operations, and live-fire training events, among other cooperative training opportunities.