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Pacific Fleet commander kicks off RIMPAC 2014

US Marine Corps News

By Air Force Staff Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal, Defense Media Activity – Hawaii News Bureau | Marine Corps Base Hawaii | July 07, 2014

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- U.S. Navy Adm. Harry Harris, Pacific Fleet commander, kicked off the 24th Rim of the Pacific exercise, explaining the significance of this year's RIMPAC and how it is designed to benefit those involved during a conference here June 30, 2014.

RIMPAC is a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world's oceans.

"I think it's important to note that by simply attending RIMPAC, every nation here is making the bold statement that we must improve multilateral military cooperation despite disagreements," Harris said. "Today, maritime cooperation is more vital than ever. For centuries the world's oceans kept us apart but in this increasingly globalized world the world's oceans bring us together."

During the span of RIMPAC the nations involved will conduct training ashore and out at sea in a coalition and joint effort.

"It's going to be very valuable training but make no mistake it's going to be very hard work," said U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Kenneth E. Floyd, Combined Task Force commander. "I'm already proud and very honored to have the opportunity to lead the 25,000 people from 22 different countries on the RIMPAC team this year and I'm looking forward to all that they are about to do out on the high seas."

Harris said that building mutual trust and opening lines of communication are critical for success but challenging to build. RIMPAC offers participants the chance to work alongside other nations in preparation for real world events, and is designed to strengthen rebalance efforts of the Asia-Pacific region.

"The rebalance is based on a strategy of cooperation and collaboration and that's why it's imperative that we work together to build trust and confidence to solve our collective maritime challenges," Harris said. "When great nations work together, we can accomplish great things. Collaboration and cooperation; that's why we're here, to learn together, to operate together, and to sail together."

Forty-nine surface ships, six submarines and more than 200 aircraft are involved in the exercise. Approximately 25,000 personnel spanning from 22 nations and six observer nations, participate in the 24th RIMPAC exercise, running through Aug. 1, in Hawaii and Southern California.

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