If you like warships, you probably know what RIMPAC is. It’s the most impressive display of multinational naval power in the world. And it just concluded this past week.
Not many people were there. However, for those of us who didn’t spend our time in the Pacific aboard a ship this past week, they’ve released a video that’s pretty much everything that is awesome about huge ships and naval air power.
So, first, a little background.
“Twenty-five nations, 46 surface ships, five submarines, 17 land forces, and more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel participated in Rim of the Pacific exercise 2018,” a statement from RIMPAC Public Affairs read.
“This year’s RIMPAC iteration marked the 26th in the series that began in 1971 and is now held every two years.”
“As the world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity designed to foster and sustain cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s interconnected oceans,” read a March statement from the U.S. 3rd Fleet Public Relations back in May.
“RIMPAC 2018 is the 26th exercise in the series that began in 1971.”
And this marked the first RIMPAC that a former enemy of the United States participated in: Vietnam was a first-time member of the RIMPAC club, as were Israel and Sri Lanka.
“Additional firsts include New Zealand serving as Sea Combat Commander and Chile serving as Combined Force Maritime Component Commander,” the 3rd Fleet statement read. “This is the first time a non-founding RIMPAC nation (Chile) will hold a component commander leadership position.”
And oh, what a position of leadership it was:
That’s a whole heck of a lot of ships.
Aside from all of the awesomeness in the waters of the Pacific, there were also tactical concerns to consider. (Yes, I know, more boring than awesome footage of massive aircraft carriers, but still somewhat important.)
“I couldn’t be more proud of our international team’s ability to successfully complete an exercise of this nature,” Adm. John D. Alexander, commander of the U.S. 3rd Fleet and combined task force commander for the exercise, said.
“Most importantly, we completed the exercise safely while still achieving national training objectives. This is a true testament to the talent and lasting partnerships we built through RIMPACs past and present, and will continue to build for the foreseeable future.”
Yes, yes, all very well. But those ships! That makes it all worthwhile, at least in my opinion. I’m sure the Navy may differ and they’re certainly not going to use millions of dollars for my entertainment on a Saturday morning or yadda yadda yadda. Just keep that footage coming and we’re good.
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