More than 1,600 members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) have successfully completed Exercise RIMPAC 2018, the world’s largest multinational maritime exercise.

Exercise RIMPAC 2018 culminated this week in a major multi-national amphibious landing activity, following four weeks of gunnery, missile, anti-submarine and air-defence exercises, as well as maritime interdiction and vessel boardings, explosive ordnance disposal, diving and salvage operations, and mine clearance operations.

Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Marise Payne said Exercise RIMPAC 2018 had tested and proven the ADF’s capabilities and reinforced its interoperability with partner nations.

“Australian forces have increased bilateral and multilateral skills alongside the United States (US) and other regional partners to foster a strong community built on shared interests,” Minister Payne said.

“RIMPAC sustains the cooperative relationships that are critical to maintaining international maritime security and ensuring we’re ready to work together when the time calls.

“Over these past weeks the ADF has proven not only its reputation as a professional military force, but also as a responsible member of a multi-national team, committed to maintaining security in the Pacific Rim.”

During the Exercise, Australian personnel demonstrated a wide range of capabilities from humanitarian assistance and disaster response to maritime security operations and complex war fighting alongside their peers from 25 nations.

The significant milestones achieved during Exercise RIMPAC 2018 were:

  • A Royal Australian Air Force P-8A Poseidon aircraft from 92 Wing firing a live Harpoon missile for the first time, successfully striking a surface target and collecting important operational data.
  • HMAS Adelaide embarking US Marine Corps Amphibious Assault Vehicles for the first time and carrying a record number of personnel from nine different nations.
  • Frigates HMAS Melbourne and HMAS Toowoomba successfully firing missiles against moving targets at sea in company with ships from the US, Canada and Singapore
  • Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion Royal Australian Regiment tested their interoperability within a multinational amphibious readiness group, boosting their standing as Australia’s amphibious force. 

As good stewards of the environment, the ADF has been participating in RIMPAC in accordance with the relevant US environmental protection acts and the US Navy’s priorities for all participating nations.

The next RIMPAC is planned for the Hawaiian Islands in 2020.

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