A landing craft air cushion approaches the well deck of the USS San Diego off the Hawaiian Islands. Navy photo
A landing craft air cushion approaches the well deck of the USS San Diego off the Hawaiian Islands. Navy photo

The world’s largest international maritime exercise concluded Thursday after more than a month of training events conducted in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California.

Twenty-six nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel participated in Rim of the Pacific 2016, more countries and personnel than in any previous year.

This year’s exercise included the first-ever firing of an anti-ship Harpoon missile from the new littoral combat ship USS Coronado and amphibious operations off Southern California.

Hosted by the U.S. Pacific Fleet, RIMPAC 2016 was led by Vice Adm. Nora Tyson, commander of the 3rd Fleet, who served as the combined task force commander.

“RIMPAC 2016 was an unqualified success,” said Tyson. “The collaboration and cohesiveness between participants proved that we can operate effectively with our partner nations and that we will be ready in the Pacific if or when we’re called upon.”

“To safely and effectively execute an exercise of this scale and scope is a tribute to the leadership and skill of every participating unit,” she added.

This year’s participants were Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, People’s Republic of China, Peru, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Tonga, and the United Kingdom, in addition to the United States.

A Harpoon anti-ship missile is fired from the USS Coronado during RIMPAC 16. Navy photo

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.