Twenty-six nations, 38 ships and more than 25,000 military personnel have traveled to Hawaiʻi and its surrounding areas over the past two weeks for this year’s Rim of the Pacific maritime exercises.
Back in full force after a scaled down version in 2020, US Navy Vice Admiral Michael Boyle said these amphibious exercises are a way to connect and train allied nations.
“I’m not just talking about interoperability but interchangeability,” he said last week. “I defined interchangeability as that place where our national interests and our ability to be interoperable overlap. This is something we intend to explore further during RIMPAC.
The nations have brought together four submarines, 30 unmanned systems and more than 170 aircraft to train on land and at sea in anti-submarine warfare; air defense missions; missile and target training; and simulated rescue operations.
Organizers say RIMPAC typically brings more than $50 million to the local economy.
Jason Chung, vice chairman of the Hawaii Chamber of Commerce’s Military Affairs Council, said the global implications play a role in both the local economy and the state’s quality of life.
“The purpose of the Rim of the Pacific exercise, which is to keep the Indo-Pacific free and open, which really becomes after maintaining our way of life and, and the quality of life that we enjoy in this region as well than in Hawaii.”
But some want to get away from this addiction.
Ellen Rae Cachola with Women’s Voices Women Speak teaches and advocates for demilitarization. Cachola said “genuine security” offers a more humanitarian perspective.
“True security is really about getting our countries to put human needs first, such as affordable housing, food, healthcare, education, so that those are human needs” , Cachola said. “It’s about peace and security, about taking care of people. Real security goes against the popular idea of national security, which is generally equated with military security.
Part of true security is accountability.
The Red Hill water crisis looms large over this year’s events.
Fuel from the bulk storage facility has been used in previous exercises. US Pacific Fleet Commander Admiral Samuel Paparo said that was not the case this year.
“We’ve absolutely operated seamlessly without using Red Hill during this time, whether it’s with tankers bringing fuel and logistics here…in the Port of Honolulu, as well as the island’s logistics capability. inherent in Honolulu itself,” Paparo said.
In its 28th iteration, in addition to US forces, participating nations include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand and Peru. , the Republic of Korea, the Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tonga and the United Kingdom.
This year’s exercises, themed “Capable, Adaptive, Partners,” began June 29 and will run through August 4.