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News Around the Fleet

News | June 11, 2021

U.S. 3rd Fleet Hosts RIMPAC Initial Planning Conference

By Commander, U.S. Third Fleet Public Affairs

Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet hosted the Initial Planning Conference for Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022 at Naval Base Point Loma, June 1 to 10.

More than 300 personnel from countries scheduled to participate in RIMPAC 2022 attended the virtual IPC to begin preparations for the exercise. RIMPAC 2022 is currently scheduled to be in-person.

“This initial RIMPAC conference embodies our exercise theme of capable, adaptive partners. Working alongside familiar RIMPAC partner nations as well as new participating nations, the past 10 days have given us all the opportunity to establish relationships within a multi-national framework,” said Vice Adm. Steve Koehler, commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet. “The trust we develop today through this conference is what will give us the warfighting edge tomorrow and we look forward to a robust and successful RIMPAC next summer.”

The event affords attendees the opportunity to disseminate information and initiate planning for RIMPAC 2022.

“The initial planning conference is the official stepping-off point for our multi-national planners to shape the exercise,” said Australian Navy Lt. Cmdr. James Dobson, RIMPAC 2022 coordinator. “During the past two weeks, the team at Third Fleet alongside our partner nation representatives have successfully ensured we are coordinating the necessary information to move on to more detailed planning.”

RIMPAC 2020 featured at-sea-only training events conducted around the Hawaiian Islands in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The at-sea-only construct for RIMPAC 2020 was developed to ensure the safety of all military forces participating by minimizing shore-based contingents. Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet crafted the modified RIMPAC plan as a way to conduct a meaningful exercise with maximum training value and minimum risk to the force, allies and partners, and the people of Hawaii. RIMPAC 2020 included 53 replenishment-at-sea events, 101 pallets of cargo distributed, over 16,000 rounds of small arms munitions shot, over 1,000 large caliber weapons fired, 13 missiles expended, and 1,100 pounds of mail delivered.

RIMPAC began in 1971 and was held annually until 1974, when it became a biennial exercise due to its scale. The founding nations were the United States, Australia, and Canada. This will be the 28th RIMPAC since inception.

An integral part of U.S. Pacific Fleet, U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Indo-Pacific and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary to flawlessly execute our Navy’s role across the full spectrum of military operations—from combat operations to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. U.S. 3rd Fleet works together with our allies and partners to advance freedom of navigation, the rule of law, and other principles that underpin security for the Indo-Pacific region.