Buried within the more than twenty-one hundred pages of the National Defense Authorization Act is a single sentence that signals a historic change in defense cooperation between Taiwan and the United States.  It quietly sits in Section 1248 and simply reads,

“It is the sense of Congress that the naval forces of Taiwan should be invited to participate in the Rim of the Pacific exercise conducted in 2022.”

Rim Of The Pacific

The Rim of the Pacific Exercise or RIMPAC is the world’s largest joint naval exercise. First held in 1971 it includes the combined fleets of the United States, Great Britain, Japan, Australia, and Canada.  In the past, other nations have also participated such as Chile, Colombia, France, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Peru, Singapore, South Korea, and Thailand.

The exercise tests new weapons, sensors, tactics, communications systems, and interoperability procedures between the U.S. and the ships of other friendly nations.  Running approximately two weeks in length RIMPAC concludes with the sinking(SINKEX) of a decommissioned vessel by missiles, gunfire, and torpedoes.  You can watch the destruction of the ex-USS Durham here.  She gets popped by a couple of Harpoon anti-ship missiles