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2014 RIMPAC Exercises Begin – Bloggers Invited Previously

Well the ships are coming in for the 2014 RIMPAC Exercises.  I don’t have a sponsorship with Go!Airlines anymore, so if I do get selected to go on some embarks… I’ll have to be selective about the ones I get chosen for as I know I’ll be paying my own flights this time!

Here are some of the previous embarks and adventures I have gone on in the past.

I always try to get something to remember my embarks from!

I always try to get something to remember my embarks from!

Statement By Admiral Harry Harris Jr., On Opening of RIMPAC

Aloha! Welcome everyone to the Rim of the Pacific exercise. It’s a great day to look across Pearl Harbor and see so many international ships berthed here for RIMPAC 2014. I want to personally welcome every Sailor, Marine, Airman, Soldier and Coastguardsman from all 22 participating nations and from the six observer nations – not only here in Hawaii, but also to the joint forces operating together in Southern California. You may not realize this, but the Southern California RIMPAC phase includes more than 1,000 personnel and seven ships from nine countries.

RIMPAC Line Up

As the world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps our armed forces increase transparency and foster the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring security on the world’s oceans. Everyone standing here with me today recognizes how valuable a cooperative approach can be to sharing the workload and leveraging unique national capabilities.

Today, maritime cooperation is more vital than ever before. For centuries, the world’s oceans kept us apart, but in this increasingly globalized world, they are the pathways that bring us together.

Freedom of the seas is the minimum condition necessary for global prosperity and trade to flourish. This applies to the United States, a maritime nation and a Pacific nation, and it applies to each of the countries participating in RIMPAC.

As the world’s economic center of gravity shifts rapidly toward the Indo-Asia-Pacific, we also note the increasing risks in the region – some man-made, some natural – but all capable of disrupting stability and impacting our collective prosperity. We can all appreciate that conflict and crisis are bad for business. I think it’s important to note that by simply attending RIMPAC, every nation here is making the bold statement that we must improve multinational military cooperation despite disagreements. We can agree to disagree without being disagreeable.

Capable maritime forces enhance stability, security, prosperity and peace around the world, especially in an ocean as vast as the Pacific. The 22 nations who sent forces to RIMPAC have interests in the Pacific, and they know that this exercise will help them improve their capability to operate with each other and contribute to multilateral efforts when needed.

Mutual trust and open lines of communication are critical, but are very challenging to build. That’s why multilateral exercises like RIMPAC are so important. It helps us work together effectively in real world events like the recent search for Malaysia Airliner MH370, or in responding to the devastating typhoon that hit our friends in the Philippines last November. Friends help friends, and often, the fastest response to crisis comes from the sea.

Capable maritime forces matter to all nations.

And they matter to the United States, which is conducting a whole-of-government strategic rebalance to the Pacific. The rebalance is based on a strategy of cooperation and collaboration, and that’s why it is imperative that we work together to build trust and confidence to solve our collective maritime challenges. When great nations work together, we can accomplish great things.

Collaboration and cooperation, that’s why we are here to learn together, operate together and sail together.

There are three great ships that sail on the high seas – friendship, partnership and leadership – all three are exemplified at RIMPAC. Great leadership is also something I get every day from our U.S. Third Fleet commander, Vice Adm. Kenny Floyd, who will serve as the Combined Task Force commander during this exercise.

Adm. Harris is commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet.

Impact of RIMPAC, Balancing the Benefits

Dozens of ships from nearly two dozen countries are arriving in Pearl Harbor this week for the start of RIMPAC – Rim of the Pacific Exercise. RIMPAC 2014 will be held in waters and airspace in and around Hawaii for five weeks beginning June 26.

On Board the USS Ronald Reagan during the 2010 RIMPAC exercises

On Board the USS Ronald Reagan during the 2010 RIMPAC exercises

RIMPAC brings international participants together to foster and sustain cooperative relationships. Training during RIMPAC builds credible, ready maritime forces that help to preserve peace and prevent conflict.

RIMPAC is hosted by U.S. Pacific Fleet, which is headquartered here, and led by U.S. Third Fleet, which is headquartered in San Diego and will have most of its key staff here throughout the exercise. The exercise will be based at Navy Region Hawaii, which includes Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, and the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai. Training will also be held at Marine Corps Base Hawaii and several other locations in the state.

USS Lake Erie (CG 70) fires a Standard Missile-2 during exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2012. Twenty-two nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC exercise from Jun. 20 to Aug. 3, in and around the Hawaiian Islands. The world’s largest maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of the sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2012 is the 23rd exercise that began in 1971. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/EXW) Derek R. Sanchez/RELEASED

USS Lake Erie (CG 70) fires a Standard Missile-2 during exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2012. Twenty-two nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC exercise from Jun. 20 to Aug. 3, in and around the Hawaiian Islands. The world’s largest maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of the sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2012 is the 23rd exercise that began in 1971. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/EXW) Derek R. Sanchez/RELEASED

Hawaii’s operating areas and ranges offer realistic, relevant training opportunities like nowhere else in the world.

Participating service members will focus on land, sea and air training in addition to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, maritime security operations, sea control and complex warfighting procedures.

Submarine surfaces next to the USS Chung-Hoon during the 2010 RIMPAC Exercises

Submarine surfaces next to the USS Chung-Hoon during the 2010 RIMPAC Exercises

Environmental stewardship and protection of marine mammals are always top priorities during naval operations. In the weeks leading up to RIMPAC, crews receive training on sighting marine mammals and required protective measures. Participants follow established and approved procedures to minimize the potential impact on marine life.

Some Temporary Noise and Crowds

With 25,000 participants coming to Hawaii, noise, crowds and traffic will increase in the last week of June and through the end of July. But with the temporary inconveniences, there are tangible and intangible benefits to the state.

According to the Hawaii State Department of Business and Economic Development and Tourism Research and Economic Analysis Division, the initial economic benefit for RIMPAC 2014 is projected to be $52.5 million, based on the number of exercise participants and their time in port.

By the end of RIMPAC, officially Aug. 1, the overall economic benefit is expected to be tens of millions of dollars higher than $52.5 million after purchases of supplies, fuel and food or the spending by family and friends of participating personnel are calculated.

RIMPAC Line UpAlso, after experiencing the Aloha spirit of the people of Hawaii and seeing the natural beauty of the ʻāina, the visiting spouses, children, extended family members and friends of participants are expected to return home and “talk story” about the islands, extending the benefits for years to come.

Raising Discussion of Garage Door Openers

During RIMPAC some remotely operated garage door openers may be temporarily affected. This can occur if the device is a type (FCC-regulated but unlicensed Part 15) that operates on frequencies reserved for federal government systems.

Remotely controlled garage door openers legally operate at a very low power on an unlicensed basis. Therefore, they can be affected by electromagnetic activity that is generated by navy ships, civilian boaters or other sources.

Such devices may not work properly from time to time, especially if they aren’t pointed directly at the door. If that happens, drivers may have to remove the opener from their sun visor and point it directly at the door. If the opener still doesn’t work right, garage door owners may have to open and close their doors manually or consider other options for a short time.

The Navy is required to test commercial surface search radars in port prior to getting underway and as part of scheduled maintenance. Surface search radars are available commercially, used by civilian boaters and not a safety issue. Exercising safety is a top priority for the Navy.

To be sure their garage door opener will function properly, owners may want to check with their garage door company. At least one company in Hawaii asks their customers to be patient in dealing with the inconvenience, “for a short bit of time, [but] for a lifetime of safety and freedom.”

The LCAC Hovercraft that transported me out to the USS Essex.

The LCAC Hovercraft that transported me out to the USS Essex

To learn more about RIMPAC, please visit http://www.cpf.navy.mil/rimpac/2014/
For questions about RIMPAC, please call the Combined Information Bureau. Media can call 808-472-0240. The general public is invited to call 808-472-0235.

USS Ronald Reagan, Carrier Air Wing Two to Participate in RIMPAC

The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) and Carrier Air Wing Two departed from the Southern California operating area June 18 to participate in the biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise scheduled June 26 to Aug. 1, in and around the Hawaiian Islands.

USS Ronald Reagan

USS Ronald Reagan

RIMPAC is the world’s largest international maritime exercise and serves as a unique training opportunity for participating countries to foster and sustain the cooperative relationships and interoperability that are critical to ensure security on the world’s oceans.

Inside the Ronald Reagan Room

Reagan and its embarked Carrier Strike Group Nine command staff will work with 46 ships, six submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel from 23 nations to exercise a wide range of capabilities and demonstrate the inherent flexibility of maritime forces.

When the NAVY flew me out to the USS Aircraft Carrier USS Ronald Reagan during a previous RIMPAC Exercise

When the NAVY flew me out to the USS Aircraft Carrier USS Ronald Reagan during a previous RIMPAC Exercise

“RIMPAC has a long, rich tradition dating back to 1971, so we’re incredibly excited to be participating in this important international exercise,” said Capt. Christopher Bolt, Reagan’s commanding officer. “Every opportunity we have to strengthen relations with our partner countries and exercise cooperative efforts allows us to improve the way in which we provide safety and security for the world’s sea lanes.”
USS Ronald Reagan Commanders Coin
Reagan last participated in the RIMPAC exercise series in 2010.

Details of RIMPAC activities and imagery are available at http://www.cpf.navy.mil/rimpac/2014.

23 Nations to Participate in RIMPAC Exercises Around Hawaiian Islands

Twenty-three nations, 47 ships, six submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel will participate in the biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise scheduled June 26 to Aug. 1, in and around the Hawaiian Islands.

All Aboard!

All Aboard!

The world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2014 is the 24th exercise in the series that began in 1971.

When the NAVY flew me out to the USS Aircraft Carrier USS Ronald Reagan during a previous RIMPAC Exercise

When the NAVY flew me out to the USS Aircraft Carrier USS Ronald Reagan during a previous RIMPAC Exercise

Hosted by U.S. Pacific Fleet, RIMPAC 2014 will be led by U.S. Vice Adm. Kenneth Floyd, commander of the U.S. Third Fleet (C3F), who will serve as the Combined Task Force (CTF) Commander. Royal Australian Navy Rear Adm. Simon Cullen will serve as deputy commander of the CTF, and Japan Maritime Self Defense Force Rear Adm. Yasuki Nakahata as the vice commander. Other key leaders of the multinational force will include Rear Adm. Gilles Couturier of the Royal Canadian Navy, who will command the maritime component, Air Commodore Chris Westwood of the Royal Australian Air Force, who will command the air component, and the land component will be led by Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Richard Simcock. RIMPAC 2014 will also include for the first time a special operations component, to be led by U.S. Navy Capt. William Stevens.

Two nations, Brunei and the People’s Republic of China, will participate in RIMPAC for the first time in 2014.

When the Navy took me out to the USNS Mercy

When the Navy took me out to the USNS Mercy

Also for the first time at RIMPAC this year, two hospital ships, USNS Mercy and PLA (N) Peace Ark, will participate in the exercise.

The theme of RIMPAC 2014 is “Capable, Adaptive, Partners.” The 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 syllabus includes amphibious operations, gunnery, missile, anti-submarine and air defense exercises as well as counter-piracy, mine clearance operations, explosive ordnance disposal and diving and salvage operations.

Picture courtesy of Jasmine Guevara

Social Media folks invited to participate in previous RIMPAC Exercises.  Picture courtesy of Jasmine Guevara

This year’s exercise includes forces from Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, People’s Republic of China, Peru, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Tonga, the United Kingdom and the United States.