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Four New Countries Join World's Largest Maritime Exercise

The Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) involves 25 countries and has been taking place every two years since the 1970s.

The Rim of the Pacific is the world's largest maritime exercise (Picture: US Department of Defense).

Four new countries and around 25,000 personnel from around the world are taking part in this year’s the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise. 

RIMPAC is the largest maritime exercise in the world and is currently undergoing in and around the Hawaiian Islands.

This year, Brazil, Israel, Sri Lanka and Vietnam are participating in the exercise for the first time.

It involves 25 countries and has been taking place every two years since the 1970s.

For the occasion, naval and merchant maritime experts have partnered together to deliver enhanced Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) for the first time.

MDA is the ability to maintain situational awareness of sea-going vessel movements and is used to assess the normal patterns of life on major trade routes.

Their interaction provided an adaptive capability that is an important part of maritime security operations. 

This capability is a critical supporting element in the effort to maintain freedom of navigation, which requires highly-trained, competent, and confident personnel that are developed through exercises like RIMPAC. 

Dolphin for mine countermeasure during RIMPAC 2018
The US Navy also carried out training with their bottlenose dolphins during as part of their mine countermeasure operations (Picture: US Department of Defense).

As part of this training, the marine mammals were directed to seek out and mark simulated mines.

Participating nations are conducting training ashore and out at sea, taking part in activities ranging from disaster relief and maritime security operations.

The ships participating are from Australia, Canada, Chile, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea and the United States.

There are no Royal Navy ships deployed on this exercise.

This 24th year of the exercise will end on 2 August, aiming to leave each participating country better equipped for any future major operation.