"RIMPAC is not only the world's largest international maritime exercise, it also shows that like-minded nations who value a free and open Indo-Pacific want this opportunity to improve our cooperation with each other," said Adm. John C. Aquilino, commander, U.S. Pacific.
The theme of RIMPAC 2018 is "Capable, Adaptive Partners." Participating nations and forces will exercise a wide range of capabilities and demonstrate the inherent flexibility of maritime forces. These capabilities range from disaster relief and maritime security operations to sea control and complex warfighting. The relevant, realistic training program includes gunnery, missile, anti-submarine, and air defense exercises, as well as amphibious, counter-piracy, mine clearance, explosive ordnance disposal, diving, and salvage operations.
Vice Adm. John D. Alexander, commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, emphasized the importance of building relationships among international maritime partners by conducting exercises such as RIMPAC.
"We are all maritime nations," said Alexander. "We all prosper through trade and the majority of the trade goes through the Indo-Pacific region."
This is an opportunity to build relationships ahead of a crisis, he said. This enables us to call our friends, partners and allies to work together to provide disaster relief, combat piracy, or perform a wide range of maritime contingency operations.
This year's exercise includes forces from Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tonga, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Vietnam.
"There are different uniforms, different faces, and different cultures, but we share a common purpose here at RIMPAC," Aquilino said. "I want to thank all the participating nations for sending forces to be a part of RIMPAC. The ships, aircraft, and personnel have come a long way, and they represent a significant investment by their countries. Those countries are investing in the security and stability in this maritime region that has allowed all nations to enjoy unprecedented prosperity for decades."