BEIJING, June 15 (ChinaMil) -- The Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2016 joint exercise will kick off on June 30 and China was invited to participate in the exercise for the second time in succession, according to Jeff Davis, director of the U.S. Department of Defense Press Operations, on June 14, 2016.
Davis said that the RIMPAC 2016 will boast participation from 27 nations and 25,000 service members, 45 ships, 5 submarines and more than 200 aircraft. The exercise is scheduled to operate from June 30 to August 4 in Hawaii and southern California, Davis said.
Davis said that China is one of the 27 nations participating in this year’s exercise. He added that Chinese participation in the RIMPAC will be in compliance with the U.S legislation and regulations.
The exercise provides an opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain cooperative relations that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security of the world’s oceans, said Davis.
The RIMPAC is a multinational maritime joint exercise initiated by the U.S. Navy. It has become the world’s largest international maritime exercise. It is the 25th iteration this year since its 1971 inception. China was invited to participate in the exercise for the first time in 2014.
According to the U.S. Navy, this exercise will be commanded by the U.S. Navy's 3rd Fleet and the theme of the RIMPAC 2016 is "Capable, Adaptive, Partners." The training program includes amphibious operations, gunnery, cooperative assault, counter-piracy operations, disaster prevention and relief and maritime rescue.
This is the first time that Brazil, Denmark, Germany and Italy participate in the RIMPAC.
Chinese Navy spokesman Liang Yang said that the Chinese Navy will send guided-missile destroyer Xi'an, guided-missile frigate Hengshui, comprehensive supply ship Gaoyouhu, hospital ship Peace Ark, comprehensive submarine rescue ship Changdao, three ship-borne helicopters, one special operations team and one diving team to the exercise.