Australian forces join multilateral exercise — RIMPAC 12

Aus­tralian sailors, sol­diers, air­men and women have joined defence forces from 21 oth­er nations, includ­ing France, Cana­da and Rus­sia, for Exer­cise RIM-OF-THE-PACIFIC (RIMPAC 12) in the islands of Hawaii.


Source: Aus­tralian Depart­ment of Defence
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Approx­i­mate­ly 1100 Aus­tralian Defence per­son­nel are among 25,000 per­son­nel par­tic­i­pat­ing in the US-spon­sored exer­cise.

For the first time in the his­to­ry of RIMPAC, Aus­tralia will lead the mar­itime com­po­nent. The Com­man­der of the Aus­tralian con­tin­gent, Com­modore Stu­art May­er says it’s the first time the Unit­ed States has pro­vid­ed anoth­er coun­try with the oppor­tu­ni­ty to plan and exe­cute the mar­itime aspect of this exer­cise.

“The oppor­tu­ni­ty to com­mand the mar­itime force is a trib­ute to the trust in which the Aus­tralian Navy is held. It is also a great per­son­al chal­lenge,” Com­modore May­er said.

“Aus­tralia is coor­di­nat­ing an extra­or­di­nary num­ber of assets includ­ing sev­en Com­bined Task Forces con­sist­ing of 40 sur­face ships and six sub­marines.”

Two Roy­al Aus­tralian Navy (RAN) war ships HMAS Dar­win and HMAS Perth, and the sub­ma­rine HMAS Farn­comb will be con­duct­ing a range of exer­cis­es and live fir­ing, while the Aus­tralian Clear­ance Div­ing Team will be work­ing with oth­er nations con­duct­ing explo­sive ord­nance dis­pos­al and mine coun­ter­mea­sure activ­i­ties.

Also par­tic­i­pat­ing in the exer­cise are two AP-3C Ori­ons, a S‑70B‑2 Sea­hawk heli­copter and the E7A Wed­getail Air­borne Ear­ly Warn­ing and Con­trol sup­port­ed by Air Force per­son­nel from Num­ber 2 Squadron.

Addi­tion­al­ly 150 Army per­son­nel from the 1st Bat­tal­ion, Roy­al Aus­tralian Reg­i­ment (1 RAR) with engi­neer, artillery and sup­port ele­ments are work­ing with US Navy and US marine ele­ments in the Hawaii oper­at­ing area.

RIMPAC 12 is the world’s largest mul­ti­lat­er­al live-fire mar­itime train­ing exer­cise held around the islands of Hawaii.

The exer­cise aims to enhance the inter­op­er­abil­i­ty of the com­bined forces and involves war-fight­ing exer­cis­es, human­i­tar­i­an assistance/disaster relief and mar­itime secu­ri­ty oper­a­tions.

RIMPAC 2012 — the 23rd exer­cise in the series that began in 1971 — will con­clude on 3 August.

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Aus­tralia