Participation in RIMPAC 2016

SUBHEAD: The countries participating in largest naval war exercise reach record number and include NATO.

By Juan Wilson  1 June 2016 for Island Breath  -
Image above: Teaser poster for "Pacific Rim II" film being produced now and ready for 2018. Mashup by Juan Wilson. Click to embiggen.

Note below the two recent articles  (5/31 and 6/1) in Stars and Stripes and Naval Today respectively that are puff pieces more than actual news stories. They both concern RIMPAC 2016 - the international naval war exercises that will begin toward the end of this month.

Both of these articles seem to have been "crafted" from the same US Navy public relations announcement. They cover the same points with about the same amount of detail in the same order.

The gist of the pieces are:
One: To congratulate the US Navy for convincing four new non-Pacific nations (Brazil, Denmark, Germany and Italy) for joining the Rim of the Pacific nations involved with Pacific Naval warfare. Three out of four of them are allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Two: To dampen criticism, from the likes of Sen John McCain, that the Chinese Navy should be disenvited from participating as observers in RIMPAC 2016 as they were in 2014. Obviously, the US wants China to see what they would face in and conflict in the South China Sea if they continue to build up they Naval presence in the Western Pacific.

Three: The public relations effort  invokes “The Great Green Fleet” using conservation efforts and alternative fuels; and focusing on rescue and disaster relief operations is a screen for deadlier activities that even in "practice" mode are lethal to the life in the ocean..
As to my opinion of these gists:
One:  The US Navy Pacific fleet in including three NATO navies from the Atlantic Ocean under its wing in the Pacific. Always remember that attacking any NATO nation is an attack on all. In my opinion the US Navy wants to make sure that if there is trouble in the Western Pacific that it will be the US Navy and not NATO doing the coordination.
Two: The US Navy wants the Chinese Navy to observe how mighty and dominant it is in command and control on the Pacific Ocean. They also want the Chinese available for public relations purposes. Also The relationship of a panoramic flotilla of 45 RIMPAC ships from 27nations in proportion to a couple of ships from the Chinese Navy in passive obervation makes a great photo opportunity.
Three: No amount of "Green Fleet" bullshit can obscure the deadly impact of high energy sonar, radar, amphibious operations and live ammo exercises on the Pacific Ocean and its denizens - live reefs, fish, birds, ocean mammals and to the the ecosystems that support them.
It should be noted that buried in the second story below is the detail that Japan Maritime Self Defense Force Rear Adm. Koji Manabe was named the vice commander of the RIMPAC 2016 Combined Task Force. This is interesting because his role was only enabled by an adjustment to Japanese law that disallows any military activity other than that needed for self defense - the old rules would not have allowed a leading role in such an activity as RIMPAC.

As the United States pushes militarily forward in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, it expands its already dominant role throughout the Pacific region. To me it looks like we are pushing for World War Three.  And that's a bad idea. As I have said before - the central role of our navy should not be to threaten live throughout the world, but to protect the oceans and those who live in it.

Twenty 27 countries in RIMPAC 2016

By Wyatt Olsen  31 May 2016 for Stars & Stripes  -

Image above: Reporters and other visitors gather to inspect the bow of the Haikou, China's flagship destroyer, during the 2014 Rim of the Pacific exercise in Hawaii. From original article.

Four nations will join this summer’s Rim of the Pacific drills in Hawaii, increasing the number of countries participating in the world’s largest international maritime exercise to 27.

Brazil, Denmark, Germany and Italy will take part for the first time in the biennial RIMPAC, which is slated to begin June 30 and end Aug. 4, the Navy said Tuesday. China, which joined the exercise in 2014, will also participate.

This year’s U.S. Pacific Fleet-hosted drills – which will focus on disaster relief, maritime security, sea control and complex warfighting – will include 45 ships, five submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel.

Participating nations include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, South Korea, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Tonga and the United Kingdom.

Drills will include amphibious operations, gunnery, counter-piracy, mine clearance, explosive ordnance disposal and diving and salvage operations. Defensive training against missiles, submarines and aircraft will also take place.

While most of the exercise is held in Hawaii, amphibious operations will take place in Southern California, featuring a harpoon missile shoot from a Navy littoral combat ship. A submarine rescue is new for this year, the Navy said.

Playing a major role in this year’s RIMPAC is the Navy’s “Great Green Fleet,” a yearlong initiative that uses energy conservation measures and alternative fuels to demonstrate how cutting energy costs can contribute to overall military readiness.

Almost all the vessels participating will use an approved alternate-fuel blend, the Navy said.

Some in Congress have called for China to be disinvited to RIMPAC, citing the country’s expansionist actions in the South China Sea, where it has enlarged small atolls through sand dredging.

The country has built facilities and runways on some, construction the U.S. characterizes as militarization.

Last month, U.S. Rep. Mark Takai, of Hawaii, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, asked Secretary of Defense Ash Carter to reconsider China’s invitation in light of its naval actions over the past two years.

“I guess my question is why then should we reward China for this aggressive behavior by including them in an event meant for allies and partners?” Takai said to Carter during a March hearing. He described China’s behavior as “the polar opposite of U.S. objectives in the region.”

In late April, China told the U.S. it would deny a Hong Kong port visit by the USS John C. Stennis aircraft carrier strike group planned for May 3-8. The denial likely came in response to the strike group’s recent presence near the disputed Spratly Islands close to the Philippines.

U.S. Pacific Fleet commander Adm. Scott Swift has said on numerous occasions he believes the path forward with China is to deepen relationships with military-to-military contact.

In 2014, China sent four ships to RIMPAC, including the destroyer Haikou and hospital ship Peace Ark. It also sent a spy ship, which remained in international waters off Hawaii.

Record participation in RIMPAC 2016

By Staff 1 June 2016 for Naval Today -

With four new participants, the number of countries taking part in RIMPAC, the world’s largest international maritime exercise, rose to 27.

45 ships, five submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel will participate in the biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise scheduled June 30 to August 4, in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California.

This is the first time that Brazil, Denmark, Germany, and Italy are participating in RIMPAC 2016. Additional firsts will involve flexing the command and control structure for various at sea events and incorporating a submarine rescue exercise.

Other participants will be forces from:

Australia, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, 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.

This year will see amphibious operations in the Southern California operating area, feature a harpoon missile shoot from a U.S. Navy littoral combat ship and highlight fleet innovation during the Trident Warrior experimentation series.

RIMPAC 2016 is the 25th exercise in the series that began in 1971. Hosted by U.S. Pacific Fleet.
It will be led by U.S. Vice Adm. Nora Tyson, commander of the U.S. 3rd Fleet (C3F), who will serve as the Combined Task Force (CTF) Commander.

Royal Canadian Navy Rear Adm. Scott Bishop will serve as deputy commander of the CTF, and Japan Maritime Self Defense Force Rear Adm. Koji Manabe as the vice commander.

See also:
Ea O Ka Aina: Judgement Against RIMPAC 2016 5/29/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Prepare for RIMPAC War in Hawaii 5/22/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Navy to "take" millions of mammals 5/17/16
Ea O Ka Aina: US court RIMPAC Impact decision 4/3/15
Ea O Ka Aina: RIMPAC 2014 Impact Postmortem 10/22/1
Ea O Ka Aina: RIMPAC 2014 in Full March 7/16/14
Ea O Ka Aina: 21st Century Energy Wars 7/10/14
Ea O Ka Aina: RIMPAC War on the Ocean 7/3/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Voila - World War Three 7/1/14
Ea O Ka Aina: The Pacific Pivot 6/28/14
Ea O Ka Aina: RIMPAC IMPACT 6/8/14
Ea O Ka Aina: RIMPAC Then and Now 5/16/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Earthday TPP Fukushima RIMPAC 4/22/14
Ea O Ka Aina: The Asian Pivot - An ugly dance 12/5/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Help save Mariana Islands 11/13/13
Ea O Ka Aina: End RimPac destruction of Pacific 11/1/13 
Ea O Ka Aina: Moana Nui Confereence 11/1/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Navy to conquer Marianas again  9/3/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Pagan Island beauty threatened 10/26/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Navy license to kill 10/27/12 
Ea O Ka Aina: Sleepwalking through destruction 7/16/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Okinawa breathes easier 4/27/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Navy Next-War-Itis 4/13/12
Ea O Ka Aina: America bullies Koreans 4/13/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Despoiling Jeju island coast begins 3/7/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Jeju Islanders protests Navy Base 2/29/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Hawaii - Start of American Empire 2/26/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Korean Island of Peace 2/26/12   
Ea O Ka Aina: Military schmoozes Guam & Hawaii 3/17/11
Ea O Ka Aina: In Search of Real Security - One 8/31/10
Ea O Ka Aina: Peace for the Blue Continent 8/10/10
Ea O Ka Aina: Shift in Pacific Power Balance 8/5/10
Ea O Ka Aina: RimPac to expand activities 6/29/10
Ea O Ka Aina: RIMPAC War Games here in July 6/20/10
Ea O Ka Aina: Pacific Resistance to U.S. Military 5/24/10
Ea O Ka Aina: Guam Land Grab 11/30/09
Ea O Ka Aina: Guam as a modern Bikini Atoll 12/25/09
Ea O Ka Aina: GUAM - Another Strategic Island 11/8/09
Ea O Ka Aina: Diego Garcia - Another stolen island 11/6/09
Ea O Ka Aina: DARPA & Super-Cavitation on Kauai 3/24/09
Island Breath: RIMPAC 2008 - Navy fired up in Hawaii 7/2/08
Island Breath: RIMPAC 2008 uses destructive sonar 4/22/08
Island Breath: Navy Plans for the Pacific 9/3/07
Island Breath: Judge restricts sonar off California 08/07/07
Island Breath: RIMPAC 2006 sonar compromise 7/9/06
Island Breath: RIMPAC 2006 - Impact on Ocean 5/23/06
Island Breath: RIMPAC 2004 - Whale strandings on Kauai 9/2/04
Island Breath: PMRF Land Grab 3/15/04


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