HMNZS Canterbury berthed in Pearl Harbour next to aircraft carrier - USS Ronald Reagan for the world's largest maritime exercise - Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC)
1 August 2014
Exercise RIMPAC (Rim of the Pacific) the largest maritime military exercise in the world, has drawn to a close in Hawaii.
More than 25,000 people from 22 countries participated in the six week exercise, which provided relevant and realistic training covering the full spectrum of military operations, from Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) to maritime security and complex warfighting.
HMNZS CANTERBURY was valuable in the HADR phase of the exercise, moving a vehicle and supplies from ship to shore using her landing craft, and embarking United States Marine Corps and United States Army personnel for transit to the big island of Hawaii. She was also able to confirm her Replenishment At Sea (RAS) capability, conducting a successful resupply from HMAS SUCCESS.
A New Zealand Army light infantry platoon from 1st Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (1RNZIR) worked closely with the Canadian Army, conducting urban combat drills, live firing and a non-combatant evacuation operation.
Seven personnel from 16 Field Regiment, New Zealand Army, conducted Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) training, where they provided terrain features and coordinates to the pilots of F/A-18s, an AH-1 Cobra attack helicopter and a UH-1 Iroquois gunship, as well as to ground forces, to ensure accurate delivery of bombs, rockets and surface to surface mortars and artillery.
No. 5 SQN, Royal New Zealand Air Force, provided a P3 Orion with aircrew, maintainers and support personnel, testing the upgraded K2 model in Anti-Submarine Warfare. Their tasks started with simple exercises and become more complex throughout the flying programme, ending with the air crew and a submarine being given a mission, and each trying to disrupt the other.
CAPT Garin Golding (Royal New Zealand Navy), Commander of the New Zealand contingent said that the more than 250 Kiwis from the Royal New Zealand Navy, New Zealand Army and Royal New Zealand Air Force have found the exercise very beneficial.
"Exercise RIMPAC provided not only the opportunity to test and evaluate our capability, but also to confirm our ability to operate alongside our partner nations and build lasting relationships. We demonstrated how our small country can make an important contribution."