Twenty-five nations, fifty-two naval vessels, and more than two hundred aircraft and 25,000 personnel participated in the biennial Rim of the Pacific exercise (RIMPAC). From June 27 to August 2, nations from across the globe, including first-time participants Israel, Vietnam, and Sri Lanka, worked together to be “Capable, Adaptive, Partners.”
It is the world’s largest international maritime exercise, and it is coming to a close. By the number of participants , RIMPAC is the second largest military exercise in 2018 only behind the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) Exercise Trident Juncture. This strong multilateral participation marks just how robust American maritime alliances are around the globe.
Yet there was one notable absence from RIMPAC. In late May, Pentagon spokesman Marine Lt. Col. Christopher Logan announced : “As an initial response to China’s continued militarization of the South China Sea we have disinvited the PLA Navy from the 2018 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise.” Even though China was disinvited from the exercises, Beijing sent a Type 815 AGI surveillance vessel to survey the proceedings as they have in the 2014 and 2016 exercises.
Read more at National Interest.