NZDF in Rimpac exercise

For the first time in 28 years, the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is participating in the world's largest international maritime exercise.

Exercise Rim of the Pacific (Rimpac) 2012 comprises units from 22 countries in operations around Hawaii. It started yesterday and finishes on August 3.

HMNZS Te Kaha and HMNZS Endeavour left the Devonport naval base for Hawaii at the beginning of June.

The NZDF's operational diving team and mine countermeasures team, as well as a rifle platoon, were also involved alongside a P-3K Orion and NZDF headquarters staff.

Overall, Rimpac will involve about 25,000 personnel, 42 ships, eight submarines and more than 200 aircraft spanning all maritime-based warfare disciplines.

Commander Joint Forces New Zealand Major-general Dave Gawn said the exercise gave New Zealand a key opportunity to work alongside other Pacific nations and build relationships as well as inter-operability.

New Zealand's involvement included a wide range of tasks, from humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to high-end conventional warfare.

It also tied in with key NZDF strategies, including a focus on supporting the South Pacific and the development of amphibious capability.

Rimpac was the only time New Zealand naval crew worked with nuclear submarines.

Other participating nations are the United States, Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Peru, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand, India, Mexico, Norway, the Philippines, Russia, Tonga and the United Kingdom.


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