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Navy News

The Royal Canadian Navy’s new mothership sails, on time and to budget

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LÉVIS, QC, Dec. 26, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ – Davie Shipbuilding – Canada’s leading shipbuilder – today announced that it has completed the construction, commissioning and sea-trials of the first Resolve-Class Naval Support Ship, Asterix. The ship was delivered on time, to budget and most importantly, at an internationally competitive cost. The ship departed Québec City 23 December 2017 en-route to Canadian Forces Base Halifax where she will enter service with the Royal Canadian Navy and be operated by Federal Fleet Services Inc.

Her crew of 36 Canadian merchant sailors together with Davie personnel and industry contractors sailed the 26,000-tonne ship on her maiden voyage. During the journey, they completed the testing of her propulsion and navigation systems and state-of-the-art military systems. Upon arrival in Halifax, the ship will welcome aboard members of the Royal Canadian Navy to begin integration training during the month of January 2018 prior to supporting Canadian naval operations from February 2018, for the next 10 years.

The delivery of Asterix represents the first new naval support ship to enter service with the Royal Canadian Navy in over 50 years. It is also the first large naval platform to be delivered from a Canadian shipyard in over 20 years and the first naval ship to be delivered since the launch of the National Shipbuilding Strategy.

“The delivery of this ship is an innovation showcase for Canadian industry and marks an important new era in Canadian maritime power, for it once again allows the Royal Canadian Navy to independently deploy globally for combat, peacekeeping and humanitarian operations. To see the Resolve-Class as just another naval ship is too simplistic. It is truly a force multiplier which will provide a globally deployable operating base for the Canadian Forces,” said Spencer Fraser, CEO of Federal Fleet Services Inc.

The Resolve-Class Naval Support Ship, Asterix, was designed by Rolls Royce to meet the highest and most stringent of NATO and Lloyds Register requirements to support military operations, specifically for its primary Replenishment-At-Sea functionality but also in terms of systems redundancy, damage control, ammunition storage and other systems onboard.

“This is a proving point for Davie. When we began this program, we looked at what DND had been planning with the Joint Support Ships since 2005 and we quickly realized that the 26-year old German design could be improved upon. For example, having only two replenishment-at-sea stations would mean that it does not fully meet the latest NATO requirements, which crucially calls for four stations. So, we set out to build an innovative, modern design of a naval support ship with the latest, state-of-the-art systems that would be fully compliant to meet Canada’s international and NATO commitments yet also provide a purpose-built platform for responding to humanitarian crises. We wanted to deliver a ship which would rival or exceed the best of the world’s naval support ships. Working closely with our partners in the RCN, the Canadian government and Canadian industry from coast-to coast, we can state categorically that we achieved our goals today,” commented Alex Vicefield, Chairman of Davie Shipbuilding.

Key facts:

The construction of Asterix was entirely privately financed; whereby for the first time in modern Canadian procurement history, all the technical and financial risk was borne by the companies involved – Davie and Federal Fleet Services. Unlike other current marine projects, the Canadian taxpayer has not been asked to pay a single cent until the ship is ready and able to meet the needs of the RCN.
IHS Markit (Jane’s), the leading global naval and defence analysis firm, assessed the Resolve-Class Naval Support Ship to be, in all respects, on a par with the world’s best naval support ships.
The Resolve-Class Naval Support ship took 24 months to deliver and employed over 1000 Canadian shipbuilders at Davie and provided contracts to 918 Canadian suppliers across the country.
Following common practice, also adopted by Canada’s key allies including the US Navy and Royal Navy, the vessel was converted using the hull from a modern, high quality and ice-strengthened containership. During the conversion, the ship was stripped down to its keel and rebuilt in a modular fashion, installing the same key Canadian military systems that will be installed on Canada’s future naval fleet such as OSI of Vancouver’s Integrated Tactical and Navigation System, L3 MAPPS of Montreal’s Integrated Platform Management System and Hepburn of Toronto’s Replenishment-At-Sea Systems.
Other innovative features include an extensive intermodal handling area that is accessible at sea (a first within NATO), Canada’s first at sea hospital facility (with a full operating theatre) and an advanced aviation capability which is able to land all of the RCAF’s helicopters (including Chinooks).
A fully redundant electrical power plant and propulsion system were also installed to preclude the possibility of a recurrence of a complete power plant failure that struck HMCS PROTECTEUR in February 2014.
Asterix will also be the Canadian Government’s most “Green Ship” and features, amongst other environmental innovations, Terragon of Montreal’s MAGS 8 waste management system.
Like the Joint Support Ship, the ship is capable of being fitted with a range of active and passive self-defence systems, including three Raytheon Phalanx 20mm Close-In Weapon Systems.
The ship will remain under the ownership of Federal Fleet Services and be operated by a mixed crew of Canadian merchant seafarers and Royal Canadian Navy personnel for at least the next 10 years. The ship has a service life of 40 years.
Canada has the option to purchase the vessel at any time during or upon termination of the lease. At a value of $659m today, Asterix’s price is a fraction of the cost of the currently planned Joint Support Ships (2013 PBO estimate indicates a 50% probability that each JSS will cost over $2.1B each).
While Asterix remains under the ownership of Federal Fleet Services, it will fly the company’s House Ensign and be referred to as Motor Vessel Asterix.
Davie and Federal Fleet Services fully support the government’s new defence policy – Strong, Secure, Engaged – which calls for at least two naval supply ships, though most naval experts would agree that Canada requires four such vessels to simultaneously ensure availability on both coasts, form international task groups and provide redundancy during maintenance periods. Due to program delays and limited shipbuilding capacity under the National Shipbuilding Strategy, the first Joint Support Ship will likely not be delivered before 2026 at the very earliest and possibly as late as 2028. As such, Davie has offered to build a second Resolve-Class Naval Support Ship for the Royal Canadian Navy in order to mitigate the need for Canada to rent supplementary ships from the Chilean and Spanish navies over the next decade.

Lost WWII warship USS Indianapolis found after 72 years

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Wreckage from the USS Indianapolis was discovered on Aug. 18 by the expedition crew of Paul G. Allen’s Research Vessel (R/V) Petrel. The Indianapolis was found 5,500 meters below the surface, resting on the floor of the North Pacific Ocean

“To be able to honor the brave men of the USS Indianapolis and their families through the discovery of a ship that played such a significant role during World War II is truly humbling,” Mr. Allen said. “As Americans, we all owe a debt of gratitude to the crew for their courage, persistence and sacrifice in the face of horrendous circumstances.  While our search for the rest of the wreckage will continue, I hope everyone connected to this historic ship will feel some measure of closure at this discovery so long in coming.”

The Indianapolis was tragically lost in the final days of World War II when it was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in the early morning hours of July 30, 1945. TheIndianapolis sank in 12 minutes, making it impossible to deploy much of its life-saving equipment. Prior to the attack, the Indianapolis had just completed its secret mission of delivering components of one of the two nuclear weapons that were dropped on Japan. Of the 1,196 sailors and Marines onboard, only 316 survived.

“Even in the worst defeats and disasters there is valor and sacrifice that deserve to never be forgotten,” said Sam Cox, Director of the Naval History and Heritage Command. “They can serve as inspiration to current and future Sailors enduring situations of mortal peril. There are also lessons learned, and in the case of the Indianapolis, lessons re-learned, that need to be preserved and passed on, so the same mistakes can be prevented, and lives saved.”

“For more than two decades I’ve been working with the survivors. To a man, they have longed for the day when their ship would be found, solving their final mystery,” said Capt. William Toti (Ret), spokesperson for the survivors of the USS Indianapolis. “They all know this is now a war memorial, and are grateful for the respect and dignity that Paul Allen and his team have paid to one of the most tangible manifestations of the pain and sacrifice of our World War II veterans.”

As the naval flagship of the Fifth Fleet, the sunken Indianapolis was the object of many previous search efforts. Mr. Allen had recently acquired and retrofitted the 250-foot R/V Petrel with state-of-the-art subsea equipment capable of diving to 6,000 meters (or three and a half miles).

“The Petrel and its capabilities, the technology it has and the research we’ve done, are the culmination of years of dedication and hard work,” said Robert Kraft, director of subsea operations for Mr. Allen.  “We’ve assembled and integrated this technology, assets and unique capability into an operating platform which is now one among very few on the planet.”

The other key factor in the discovery was information that surfaced in 2016 by Dr. Richard Hulver, historian with the Naval History and Heritage Command, which led to a new search area to the west of the original presumed position.

By finally identifying a naval landing craft that had recorded a sighting of the USS Indianapolis the night that it was torpedoed, the research team developed a new position and estimated search, which was still a daunting 600 square miles of open ocean.

Allen-led expeditions have also resulted in the discovery of the Japanese battleship Musashi (March 2015) and the Italian WWII destroyer Artigliere (March 2017). His team was also responsible for retrieving and restoring the ship’s bell from the HMS Hood for presentation to the British Navy in honor of its heroic service. Mr. Allen’s expedition team was recently transferred to the newly acquired and retrofitted R/V Petrel specifically for continuing exploration and research efforts.

The 16-person expedition team on the R/V Petrel will continue the process of surveying the full site as weather permits and will be conducting a live tour of the wreckage in the next few weeks. The USS Indianapolis remains the property of the U.S. Navy and its location will remain confidential and restricted by the Navy. The crew of the R/V Petrel has been collaborating with Navy authorities throughout its search operations and will continue to work on plans to honor the 22 crew members still alive today, as well as the families of all those who served on the highly decorated cruiser.

Royal Navy’s first new Offshore Patrol Vessel formally named

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The first of the Royal Navy’s new Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) has been formally named in Scotland today.

The 90-metre warship, which will be tasked with vital counter-terrorism, anti-smuggling and maritime defence duties, was named HMS Forth in honour of the famous Scottish river in a ceremony at the BAE Systems Scotstoun shipyard.

The ship will soon depart on sea trials before entering service with the Royal Navy in 2018. She is the first of a fleet of five new Batch 2 River-class OPVs being built on the Clyde which are all expected to be in service by 2021.

The work to build HMS Forth and her sister ships is sustaining around 800 Scottish jobs, as well as the critical skills required to build the Type 26 Global Combat Ships, construction of which will begin at the Govan shipyard in the summer, subject to final contract negotiations.

HMS Forth was named by the Lady Sponsor Rachel Johnstone-Burt who, in tribute to Scottish shipbuilding and in keeping with Naval tradition, broke a bottle of whisky on the bow.

Minister for Defence Procurement, Harriett Baldwin, said:

As part of a sustained programme delivering world-class ships and submarines, HMS Forth’s naming is a vitally important part of the Government’s ten-year £178 billion plan to provide our Armed Forces with the equipment they need.

From counter-narcotics operations in the Caribbean, to securing the UK’s borders on patrols closer to home, the Royal Navy’s new Offshore Patrol Vessels will help protect our interests around the world.

HMS Forth, the fifth Royal Navy vessel to bear the name over the past two centuries, is affiliated with the city of Stirling, maintaining a connection which began when the people of the city adopted a previous ship with the name Forth during the Second World War.

It is an advanced vessel equipped with a 30mm cannon and flight deck capable of accommodating a Merlin helicopter, and manned by a crew of 58 sailors. Displacing around 2,000 tonnes, she has a maximum speed of around 24 knots and can sail 5,500 nautical miles without having to resupply.

First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sir Philip Jones, said:

With the naming of HMS Forth, the Royal Navy looks forward to another impending arrival in our future Fleet. In a few short years, these five Offshore Patrol Vessels will be busy protecting the security of UK waters and those of our overseas territories.

They are arriving in service alongside a new generation of attack submarines and Fleet tankers, and will be followed shortly by new frigates and other auxiliaries; all of this capability will coalesce around the Queen Elizabeth-class carriers. Together, they form a truly balanced Fleet, able to provide security at sea, promote international partnership, deter aggression and, when required, fight and win.

The MOD has invested £648 million in the OPV programme,bandits delivery is one of the key commitments laid out in the Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015.

Chief of Materiel (Fleet) for the MOD’s Defence Equipment and Support organisation, Vice Admiral Simon Lister, said:

HMS Forth, part of the updated River class of Offshore Patrol Vessels, is one of the most advanced ships of its type and will provide the Royal Navy with the means to undertake vital operations safely and effectively.

The naming is a significant milestone in the life of HMS Forth and in the wider Offshore Patrol Vessel programme, which is well on track to deliver all five of the new ships by the end of 2019.

The Royal Navy currently operates four Batch 1 Offshore Patrol Vessels, one based in the Falkland Islands and three at HMNB Portsmouth, operating globally on tasks ranging from counter-narcotics operations to Atlantic patrols.

£278M for two more Royal Navy ships as work begins on the next

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Crown Copyright

Work starts on new Royal Navy ship as MOD signs £278M contract to build two more Offshore Patrol Vehicles in the UK.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has signed a manufacturing and support contract worth £287 million to build two more Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) for the Royal Navy, safeguarding hundreds of Scottish jobs.

Minister for Defence Procurement, Harriett Baldwin will announce the contract today to build the two new ships, named HMS Tamar and HMS Spey, shortly before pressing the button at the Govan shipyard to cut the first steel on HMS Tamar.

The contract with BAE Systems Maritime – Naval Ships boosts the UK’s fleet of next generation River class OPVs from three to five ships. These five ships will begin to enter service in 2018, in support of the Royal Navy’s mission to protect national interests at home and around the world.

The work enabled by the £287 million contract will include the building of HMS Tamar and HMS Spey as well as support for all five of the new ships.

Work on the five new vessels is sustaining 800 jobs at shipyards on the Clyde through contracted work and by guaranteeing the crucial manufacturing skills needed to build the Navy’s future Type 26 Frigates. The OPV programme sustains around 800 Scottish shipbuilding jobs on the Clyde with additional jobs sustained at more than 100 companies in the UK supply chain.

Minister for Defence Procurement Harriett Baldwin said:

This contract will deliver two more modern Offshore Patrol Vessels, HMS Tamar and HMS Spey, for the Royal Navy and safeguard vital shipbuilding skills and hundreds of jobs in Scotland.

Protected by a rising Defence budget, the OPV programme is an important part of the Government’s £178 billion plan to ensure our armed forces have the equipment they need.

HMS Tamar and HMS Spey will be manufactured at the Govan shipyard before being floated to Scotstoun to be fitted out. They are expected to be delivered in 2019.

Chief Executive Officer at the MOD’s Defence Equipment and Support Organisation, Tony Douglas, said:

This agreement will deliver two more Offshore Patrol Vessels which the Royal Navy will use to protect the nation’s interest at home and around the world.

These modern ships will have a versatile flight deck, improved firefighting equipment and greater storage and accommodation than previous vessels, giving UK sailors a decisive advantage on a huge range of operations.

Like the other vessels of its class, HMS Tamar and HMS Spey will carry out counter-terrorism, anti-piracy, anti-smuggling and maritime defence operations, and are expected to be equipped with a 30mm cannon and a flight deck capable of receiving a Merlin helicopter.

Displacing around 2,000 tonnes, they will have a maximum speed of 24 knots and will be able to sail 5,500 nautical miles before having to resupply.

BAE Systems is currently exploring a number of export opportunities with international customers for OPV. The Brazilian Navy operates three Amazonas Class corvettes which are based on the design of the River Class OPV and were built at BAE Systems’ facilities in the UK.

KONGSBERG wins contract to upgrade the Fridtjof Nansen class frigates worth NOK 313 million

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Photographer: KONGSBERG
Photographer: KONGSBERG

Kongsberg Defence Systems (KONGSBERG) has entered into agreement with the Norwegian Defence Material Agency (NDMA) to update the Combat Management System and the Active Sonar System of the Fridtjof Nansen class frigates. The contract value is 313 MNOK and will be delivered over four years.

KONGSBERG has supplied the anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare systems based on KONGSBERG`s Combat Management System architecture and integrated with the Aegis Combat System. KONGSBERG has conducted update and maintenance activities regularly since the class was introduced. This contract extends the lifetime of the systems.

“KONGSBERG is pleased to be part of the upgrade program extending the lifetime of the systems on board the Fridtjof Nansen class. KONGSBERG is a leading Combat System supplier for ships and submarines delivered to eleven nations around the world, and this contract confirms our strong position”, says Eirik Lie, Acting President, Kongsberg Defence Systems.

Rauma Marine Constructions and the Finnish Defence Forces sign letter of intent for construction of four vessels

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Seeing the letter of intent is realized, Rauma-based shipbuilding company Rauma Marine Constructions will build four vessels capable of operating in ice conditions for the Finnish Defence Forces. 

The Logistics Command of the Finnish Defence Forces will look into the prospects of Finnish-owned shipyard company Rauma Marine Constructions acting as the ship building partner for the Squadron 2020 project. The Logistics Command will ensure in cooperation with RMC it’s shipyard capacity, security of supply and other building prerequisites for combat vessels. More than 80 domestic and international suppliers responded to the request for information regarding Squadron 2020.

“On behalf of the company, I am elated and proud of the confidence that the Finnish Defence Forces have entrusted in us with the Squadron 2020 project. We will do everything in our power to make sure this letter of intent eventually results in the building of these naval vessels at the Rauma ship yard”, says Heikki Pöntynen , CEO of RMC.

The letter of intent outlines the building of four vessels capable of operating in ice conditions. The Squadron 2020 vessels are constructed for homeland defense purposes and the detailed composition of the combat system will be clarified as planning progresses. According to Pöntynen, the letter of intent also holds great importance because of its impact on job creation.

“The Finnish Defence Forces trusting our know-how regarding the construction of the new naval combat vessels is a big and significant step for RMC. If the project is realized, the impact on job creation in Rauma will be extensive and long-term.”

Huntington Ingalls Industries Awarded $52 Million Modernization Contract for USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75)

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USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75)
USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75)

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (Aug. 22, 2016) — Huntington Ingalls Industries (NYSE:HII) announced today that its Newport News Shipbuilding division has received a $52 million contract from the U.S. Navy for nuclear propulsion and complex modernization work on the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) as part of its planned incremental availability.

The contract covers planning, material procurement, prefabrication, manpower, support services, design integration, engineering and management support, and technical data. Work will be performed at Norfolk Naval Shipyard and is expected to be completed by September 2017.

“We are proud to do the maintenance and modernization work that is vital to the Navy’s ability to carry out its mission,” said Chris Miner, Newport News’ vice president, in-service aircraft carrier programs. “Our shipbuilders look forward to completing this important work in support of re-delivering a first-rate ship that is ready to continue projecting our Navy’s strength at sea.”

USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), named after the 33rd president of the United States, is the eighthNimitz-class aircraft carrier. The ship was launched in September 1996 by Newport News and is homeported at Naval Station Norfolk.

U.S. Navy accepts delivery of fourth Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship

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MARINETTE, Wis., Aug. 15, 2016  — The Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT)-led industry team delivered the nation’s seventh Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the future USS Detroit, to the U.S. Navy on Aug. 12.

The future USS Detroit is the fourth Freedom-variant LCS delivered to the U.S. Navy by Lockheed Martin and is scheduled to be commissioned in Detroit on Oct. 22.

“Team Freedom is proud to deliver another capable LCS to the Navy,” said Joe North, vice president of Littoral Ships and Systems. “Once commissioned, the USS Detroit will represent the interests of the United States where and when needed, with a level of force that will deter and defeat threats.”

The Lockheed Martin-led industry team is currently in full-rate production of the Freedom-variant, with six ships under construction at Fincantieri Marinette Marine (FMM) and three more in long-lead material procurement. The ship’s modular design and plug-and-play architecture enables the U.S. Navy to achieve increased capacity and capability at a fraction of the cost of other platforms.

“We are proud to deliver another proven warship that allows our Navy to carry out its missions around the world,” said Jan Allman, FMM president and CEO. “We look forward to working with the U.S. Navy to continue building these highly capable ships for the fleet.”

LCS 7 will be the sixth U.S. Navy ship named USS Detroit. Previous ships to bear the name included a Sacramento-class fast combat support ship, an Omaha-class light cruiser, a Montgomery-class cruiser and two 19th century sloops of war.

The Lockheed Martin-led LCS team is comprised of shipbuilder Fincantieri Marinette Marine, naval architect Gibbs & Cox, and more than 500 suppliers in 37 states. The Freedom-variant’s steel monohull is based on a proven, survivable design recognized for its stability and reliability. With 40 percent reconfigurable shipboard space, the hull is ideally suited to accommodate additional lethality and survivability upgrades associated with the Freedom-variant Frigate.

HMS Mersey to extend Royal Navy presence in Aegean

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HMS Mersey. Crown Copyright.
HMS Mersey. Crown Copyright.

The Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has authorised the deployment of HMS Mersey to the Aegean in support of NATO activity to counter migration.

This is a significant extension of the UK contribution reflecting our continuing commitment to tackle illegal people trafficking and migration in the Aegean Sea. The announcement comes as the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg confirms the international effort is working with numbers crossing being reduced by around 90% – from several thousand per day to tens.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:

British ships have been at the forefront of the progress made in the Aegean – helping to disrupt people trafficking routes and save lives.

We must now continue to focus on stopping this trade in human misery for good.

The announcement that HMS Mersey would join the NATO activity until the end of July was made by the Prime Minister while in Warsaw for the NATO Summit.

HMS Mersey, an Offshore Patrol Vessel, will provide the taskforce with enhanced ability to work closer to the shore line and greater agility – the specific capabilities the operation’s commander has asked for.

NATO ships are working closely with Greek and Turkish coastguards, alerting them to sightings of migrant vessels crossing the Aegean and enabling them to turn them back or prevent them attempting the dangerous crossing in the first place. Our RFA ships deployed so far have proved highly effective at facilitating the coastguard in their important work.

NATO ships are working closely with Greek and Turkish coastguards, alerting them to sightings of migrant vessels crossing the Aegean, so they can intercept the migrant boats and disrupt the smugglers’ business model. Our RFA ships deployed so far have proved highly effective at deterring those attempting this dangerous crossing in the first place and facilitating the coastguard in their important work.

HMS Mersey will deploy to the Aegean from the Caribbean where she has been on counter narcotic operations. In April she played a key role alongside the Canadian Navy and US coastguard in a £12 million drugs bust where 304kg of drugs were seized.

The Defence Secretary recently visited RFA Cardigan Bay to see the Royal Navy’s impact on countering illegal people trafficking and migration in the Aegean Sea.

27 nations to participate in world’s largest maritime exercise

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USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) steams in close formation as one of forty-two ships and submarines representing 15 international partner nations during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2014. Twenty-two nations, more than 40 ships and six submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC exercise from June 26 to Aug. 1, in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. The world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2014 is the 24th exercise in the series that began in 1971. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Shannon Renfroe/Released)
USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) steams in close formation as one of forty-two ships and submarines representing 15 international partner nations during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2014. Twenty-two nations, more than 40 ships and six submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC exercise from June 26 to Aug. 1, in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. The world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2014 is the 24th exercise in the series that began in 1971. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Shannon Renfroe/Released)

SAN DIEGO — Twenty-seven nations, 45 ships, five submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel will participate in the biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise scheduled June 30 to Aug. 4, in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California.

The world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2016 is the 25th exercise in the series that began in 1971.

The theme of RIMPAC 2016 is “Capable, Adaptive, Partners.” The participating nations and forces will exercise a wide range of capabilities and demonstrate the inherent flexibility of maritime forces. These capabilities range from disaster relief and maritime security operations to sea control and complex warfighting. The relevant, realistic training program includes amphibious operations, gunnery, missile, anti-submarine and air defense exercises, as well as counter-piracy, mine clearance operations, explosive ordnance disposal and diving and salvage operations.

This year’s exercise includes forces from Australia, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, People’s Republic of China, Peru, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Tonga, the United Kingdom and the United States.

This is the first time that Brazil, Denmark, Germany, and Italy are participating in RIMPAC. Additional firsts will involve flexing the command and control structure for various at sea events and incorporating a submarine rescue exercise. This year will see amphibious operations in the Southern California operating area, feature a harpoon missile shoot from a U.S. Navy littoral combat ship and highlight fleet innovation during the Trident Warrior experimentation series.

The Department of the Navy’s Great Green Fleet yearlong initiative will also play a major role in RIMPAC. The initiative highlights global operations using energy conservation measures and alternative fuel blends to demonstrate how optimizing energy use increases resiliency and operational readiness. During RIMPAC, almost all participating units will operate using an approved alternate-fuel blend.

Hosted by U.S. Pacific Fleet, RIMPAC 2016 will be led by U.S. Vice Adm. Nora Tyson, commander of the U.S. 3rd Fleet (C3F), who will serve as the Combined Task Force (CTF) Commander. Royal Canadian Navy Rear Adm. Scott Bishop will serve as deputy commander of the CTF, and Japan Maritime Self Defense Force Rear Adm. Koji Manabe as the vice commander. Other key leaders of the multinational force will include Commodore Malcolm Wise of the Royal Australian Navy, who will command the maritime component; Brig. Gen. Blaise Frawley of the Royal Canadian Air Force, who will command the air component; and the amphibious task force will be led by Royal New Zealand Navy Commodore James Gilmour.