CAF participating in Exercise RIMPAC
More than 1,000 Canadian sailors, soldiers, and aviators are set to participate in Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC). The world’s largest international maritime exercise is taking place until Aug. 2 in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California.
During RIMPAC, forces will exercise a wide range of capabilities from disaster relief to maritime security operations and complex warfighting.
Canada, along with Australia and the United States, has participated in every RIMPAC exercise since its inception in 1971. The continued participation of the CAF reinforces Canada’s commitment to enhancing partnerships and security in the Asia-Pacific region.
“Canada is an important ally in the Asia-Pacific region. Participating in RIMPAC is just one example of how our Canadian Armed Forces continue to support Canada’s engagement and leadership in the region,” said Harjit S. Sajjan, Defence Minister.
“RIMPAC offers a uniquely complex and challenging multinational environment for Canadian Armed Forces personnel to hone their skills. Our service men and women will represent Canada proudly, being leaders amongst allies,” said RAdm Bob Auchterlonie, Commander Joint Task Force RIMPAC.
Royal Canadian Navy participation includes more than 675 sailors. Two frigates, HMC Ships Ottawa and Vancouver, and one Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment ship, MV Asterix, have deployed to Hawaii. Meanwhile two maritime coastal defence vessels, Yellowknife and Whitehorse, will operate off the coast of Southern California.
Approximately 170 soldiers from the Canadian Army are at Camp Pendleton in Southern California. This includes a dismounted infantry company group from the 2nd Battalion, Royal 22nd Regiment.
The Royal Canadian Air Force is sending approximately 75 members with a CP-140 Maritime Patrol Aircraft and a deployable mission support centre.
Additional CAF personnel are serving various coalition staff functions to support the exercise. There is also a national command and support team to ensure continued operational, logistical, and administrative support to deployed elements.
Reflecting Canada’s leadership role in RIMPAC, several Canadian officers will hold key appointments during RIMPAC:
RAdm Bob Auchterlonie is the Combined Task Force Deputy Commander, second-in-command of all international forces within the exercise. Capt(N) Matthew Coates is the maritime component Deputy Commander.
Col Michael Atkins is the air component Deputy Commander. Col Dennis O’Reilly is the Combined Air Operations Centre Director.
Capt(N) Matthew Bowen is the Deputy Exercise Director.
In total, Exercise RIMPAC includes 25,000 personnel from 26 nations, 47 surface ships, five submarines, 18 national land forces, and more than 200 aircraft.