A Look Inside The World's Largest Naval Exercise

The US Navy, perhaps ironically, begins their introduction to RIMPAC by saying "The future is maritime partnerships." Of course, there is the ubiquitous hashtag (#PartnershipsMatter) and statement of fellowship, "The world’s navies must be able to come together quickly to work on common interests and things that are important worldwide." Twenty-two nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel have come together (including China for the first time and The US but not Russia) for the exercise. One wonders just how much 'partnerships matter' when Russia pulls the pin on its sanctions retaliation (especialy in light of the recent drills with China).

 

 

The US Navy's images...

The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) leads a close formation of 42 ships and submarines from 15 international partnership nations during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2014.

The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) leads a close formation of 42 ships and submarines from 15 international partnership nations during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2014.

 

The littoral combat ship USS Independence (LCS 2) is underway during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2014.

The littoral combat ship USS Independence (LCS 2) is underway during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2014.

 

An MH-53 Sea Dragon helicopter from Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron (HM) 14 deploys a Mk-105 sled from the amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage (LPD 23) well deck, part of air mine countermeasure operations during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2014.

An MH-53 Sea Dragon helicopter from Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron (HM) 14 deploys a Mk-105 sled from USS Anchorage (LPD 23) well deck, part of air mine countermeasure operations during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2014.

 

Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Eric Bruce, from Charlottesville, Va., and Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Michael Bloodworth, from Lorena, Texas, launch a landing craft air cushion, assigned to Amphibious Craft Unit (ACU) 5 in the well deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5) during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2014.

Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Eric Bruce and Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Michael Bloodworth launch a landing craft air cushion, assigned to Amphibious Craft Unit (ACU) 5 in the well deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5) during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2014.

 

Aviation Structural Mechanic (Equipment) Airman Antony Hopson, from Longview, Texas, cleans the cockpit of an F/A-18 Super Hornet aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76).

Aviation Structural Mechanic (Equipment) Airman Antony Hopson cleans the cockpit of an F/A-18 Super Hornet aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76).

 

An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to the Black Knights of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 4 operates near the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) and the People's Republic of China medical ship Peace Ark (T-AH 866) during a close formation of 42 ships and submarines from 15 international partner nations during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2014.

An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to the Black Knights of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 4 operates near USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) and the People’s Republic of China medical ship Peace Ark (T-AH 866) during a close formation of 42 ships and submarines from 15 international partner nations during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2014.

 

Sailors transport a New Zealand sailor from an MH-60 Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to The Blackjacks of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 21 while conducting a medical evacuation training exercise between the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5) and the New Zealand navy multirole vessel HMNZS Canterbury (L421) during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2014.

Sailors transport a New Zealand sailor from an MH-60 Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to The Blackjacks of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 21 while conducting a medical evacuation training exercise between the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5) and the New Zealand navy multirole vessel HMNZS Canterbury (L421) during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2014.

 

Ships gather in formation aft of the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5) during Rim of The Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2014.

Ships gather in formation aft of the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5) during Rim of The Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2014.

 

And China's perspective...

 

This is China's first appearance at RIMPAC...

And we wonder if the last?