Topic of the Day – RIMPAC Exercise

UPSC Exam Preparation: Topic of the Day – RIMPAC Exercise

The Rim of Pacific Exercise or the RIMPAC Exercise is the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise. The exercise is held biennially (in the even-numbered years) during the month of June and July near Honolulu, Hawaii. Invites are sent to the military forces of the countries from the Pacific Rim and the others by the host nation, the United States, to participate in the exercise. With RIMPAC the United States Pacific Command seeks to enhance interoperability between Pacific Rim armed forces, ostensibly as a means of promoting stability in the region to the benefit of all participating nations. The exercise seeks to create a platform for participating nations for fostering cooperative relationships for ensuring the safety of the sea lanes and security on the world oceans. It also provides a unique training opportunity to the participants.

  • The first RIMPAC was held in the year 1971.
  • The first RIMPAC exercise involved forces from the United States (US), United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada and Australia. The US, Canada and Australia have participated in every RIMPAC since then. 
  • The exercise is administered and hosted by the United State Navy’s Pacific Fleet, headquarters of which is at Pearl Harbour, in conjunction with Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Hawaii National Guard forces under control of the Governor of Hawaii.

RIMPAC 2018:

  • RIMPAC 2018 is the 26th Exercise of its type.
  • The US invites several observer nations. While not contributing any ships, observer nations are involved in RIMPAC at the strategic level and use the opportunity to prepare for possible full participation in the future. India will be an observer nation in the RIMPAC Exercise 2018.
  • On 23 May 2018, the Pentagon (headquarters of the United States Department of Defense) announced that it had “disinvited” China because of the recent militarization of islands in the South China Sea, after China had announced in January that it had been invited. The People’s Republic of China had previously attended RIMPAC Exercise in 2014 & 2016.

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