PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- A total of 32 ships and five submarines from seven nations departed Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) July 6-7 to participate in exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2010 in the Pacific Ocean.
As the ships departed JBPHH, the exercise kicked off operational Phase II of the three-phase event.
Phase II began July 6 and continues until July 24. This portion includes live fire gunnery and missile exercises, maritime interdiction and vessel boardings, anti-surface warfare, undersea warfare, naval maneuvers and air defense exercises.
Participants will collaborate in explosive ordnance disposal, diving and salvage operations, mine clearance operations and amphibious operations during Phase II.
"This is the largest RIMPAC that we've had," said Vice Adm. Richard Hunt, commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet. "This exercise clearly focuses on maritime domain awareness, dealing with expanded military operations across the complete spectrum of warfare."
The RIMPAC exercises will test the participating nations' capabilities to work together and strengthen their ability to communicate and operate in simulated maritime scenarios.
RIMPAC will conclude July 25 with tactical Phase III, involving scenario-driven exercises designed to further strengthen maritime skills and capabilities.
The U.S. Pacific Fleet-event includes participating units and personnel from Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, Peru, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand and the United States.
RIMPAC is the world's largest multinational maritime exercise, with more than 20,000 personnel participating in this year's event in the waters around the Hawaiian Islands. The exercise is themed "Combined Agility, Synergy and Support," and marks the 22nd exercise in the series that originated in 1971.
For more news from Commander, Navy Region Hawaii, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnrh/.