China is outside, but Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Brazil and Israel are in the Pacific Rim naval exercise this summer in Hawaii.
The Navy announced on Wednesday that 26 nations, 47 surface ships, five submarines, 18 national ground forces and more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 people will participate in the biennial RIMPAC that will take place from June 27 to August 2.
This would be the first time that Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Brazil and Israel join the drills, the Navy said.
Last week, the United States rescinded its invitation to RIMPAC for China, which had participated in 2014 and 2016, bringing several ships and personnel.
Navy Lt. Col. Christopher Logan, a spokesman for the Department of Defense, told reporters that the move was the first step to protest China’s actions in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. China expanded those islands through dredging and then built infrastructure on them, some of which are used only for military operations.
The inclusion of Vietnam in RIMPAC is another important step forward for military relations between two nations that were locked in a long and ugly war 50 years ago. I know they see Vietnam as a possible counterweight to China’s drive for dominance in Southeast Asia, particularly in the South China Sea.
The United States lifted its ban on selling lethal weapons to Vietnam in 2016. A US aircraft carrier paid a visit to the port this spring to Vietnam for the first time.
The other countries participating in RIMPAC are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Holland, New Zealand, Peru, South Korea, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Tonga and the United Kingdom.
For the first time, New Zealand will serve as Commander of Maritime Combat, and Chile will serve as Commander Component Maritime Combat Force.
Chile’s role marks the first time that a non-founding member of RIMPAC will occupy a leadership position as a component commander.
Live launch of a long-range anti-ship missile (LRASM) from an aircraft of the US Air Force. US, surface-to-ship missiles by the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force and a naval attack missile from a launcher on the back of a cargo system palletized by the US Army.
A ground unit had never before participated in a real fire event during RIMPAC, the Navy said.
Some portions of RIMPAC, which was first held in 1971, are also held in Southern California.
For the first time in 16 years, the Command Center of the US 3rd Fleet will move from San Diego to Pearl Harbor to support the command and control of all 3rd Fleet forces in his area of responsibility, including the forces operating in the Western Pacific, the Navy said.
For the first part of the exercise, the Fleet Command Center will be established in a Deployable Joint Command and Control at Point Hospital, Pearl Harbor. It will then transition to the USS Portland amphibious transport vessel for the remainder of the year, the Navy said.
Source: Mercado Militar