Vice Adm. Steve Koehler, commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, attends the RIMPAC 2022 initial planning conference at U.S. 3rd Fleet headquarters in San Diego. Navy photo

Hundreds joined in as the Navy began early planning for Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022 at Naval Base Point Loma.

More than 300 personnel from countries scheduled to participate in RIMPAC next year attended the virtual planning conference to begin preparations for the exercise, which is currently scheduled to be in-person.

“This initial RIMPAC conference embodies our exercise theme of capable, adaptive partners. Working alongside familiar RIMPAC partner nations as well as new participating nations, the past 10 days have given us all the opportunity to establish relationships within a multi-national framework,” said Vice Adm. Steve Koehler, commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet. “The trust we develop today through this conference is what will give us the warfighting edge tomorrow and we look forward to a robust and successful RIMPAC next summer.”

Australian Navy Lt. Cmdr. James Dobson, RIMPAC 2022 coordinator, called the planning meeting “the official stepping-off point for our multi-national planners to shape the exercise.”

“During the past two weeks, the team at Third Fleet alongside our partner nation representatives have successfully ensured we are coordinating the necessary information to move on to more detailed planning,” Dobson said.

RIMPAC began in 1971 and was held annually until 1974, when it became a biennial exercise due to its scale. The United States, Australia and Canada founded the event, and 2022 will be the 28th RIMPAC.

Last year, it featured at-sea-only training events conducted around the Hawaiian islands in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event included 53 replenishment-at-sea events, 101 pallets of cargo distributed, over 16,000 rounds of small arms munitions shot, over 1,000 large caliber weapons fired, 13 missiles expended and 1,100 pounds of mail delivered.

A part of U.S. Pacific Fleet, the U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Indo-Pacific.

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