Variety is the spice of today’s Pic of the Day. In this obviously staged photo, we see operators from the Japanese Special Boarding Unit (SBU) training with Indian and US Special Forces during RIMPAC 24.

What is RIMPAC 24? It’s a big deal, read on.

RIMPAC 24: The World’s Largest International Maritime Exercise

RIMPAC, the Rim of the Pacific Exercise, is the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise, bringing together naval forces from across the globe. This biennial event, hosted by the United States Navy’s Indo-Pacific Command, showcases its participants’ collaborative strength and operational capabilities. RIMPAC 24, held in the summer of 2024, promises to be one of the most significant iterations yet, focusing on enhancing interoperability, fostering partnerships, and demonstrating naval power in the Indo-Pacific region. Let’s hope China is watching.  

The Scale and Scope of RIMPAC 24

RIMPAC 24 involves more than 25,000 personnel, 50 ships, and over 200 aircraft from 26 nations, reflecting a broad spectrum of naval capabilities and strategic interests. The exercise spans vast swathes of the Pacific Ocean, primarily operating in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. This year, participating countries include long-standing allies such as Australia, Canada, Japan, and the United Kingdom, as well as newer participants like Vietnam and the Philippines, underscoring the region’s expanding network of security cooperation.

Objectives and Key Activities

The core objectives of RIMPAC are to enhance interoperability among participating naval forces, foster mutual understanding, and improve readiness for a wide range of potential maritime operations. Key activities include amphibious operations, gunnery exercises, missile shoots, anti-submarine and air defense exercises, maritime interdiction, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) operations.

One of the standout features of RIMPAC 24 is the inclusion of advanced technological demonstrations, such as the integration of unmanned systems in maritime surveillance and combat scenarios. The exercise also significantly emphasizes cyber warfare and electronic warfare, reflecting the growing importance of these domains in modern naval conflicts.

Enhancing Interoperability

Interoperability is a cornerstone of RIMPAC. Participating forces can better understand each other’s tactics, techniques, and procedures by training together, leading to seamless cooperation in real-world operations. This year’s exercise includes a series of combined task force operations, where multinational units work together under a unified command structure to achieve common objectives. These operations simulate complex scenarios that require coordinated responses, such as large-scale amphibious assaults, anti-piracy missions, and disaster response efforts.