The 2016 Rim of the Pacific exercises, or RIMPAC, will be one of the largest ever. A total of 27 nations will take part in the upcoming biennial gathering, with four countries – Brazil, Denmark, Germany and Italy – attending for the first time.
According to Stars and Stripes, over 25,000 sailors and airmen, 45 ships, five submarines, and over 200 aircraft will take part in the exercises. This year's event might be big, but it'll have an even bigger green element than at the 2012 event, where 450,000 gallons of biofuel was used to power 40 ships, six subs, and 200 aircraft. That event raised the ire of Congress over the $26-per-gallon price of said biofuel. But as reported previously, the US Navy's own Great Green Fleet has managed to slash the cost of its green fuel to around $2 a gallon. Almost all ships in this year's event will use a USN-approved blend of biofuel.
While green energy will play a major role I this RIMPAC 2016, there will be a broader focus on disaster relief, maritime security, sea control and complex warfighting, Stars and Stripes reports. Specific drills will be held for gunnery, counter-piracy, mine clearance, explosive ordnance disposal, diving and salvage operations, submarine rescue, while defensive tasks will focus on protection against missiles, submarines, and aircraft. While most of RIMPAC takes place in the waters and skies around Hawaii, amphibious exercises will be held in southern California.
Along with the new entries, navies from 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 will attend.