Despite pandemic, Rim of the Pacific exercise is underway around Hawaii

Ten nations take part in at-sea-only RIMPAC 2020
Posted at 9:25 AM, Aug 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-27 09:25:17-04

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii - The COVID-19 pandemic might have changed the massive Rim of the Pacific naval exercise this year, but it didn't stop it.

Right now, ten nations including the United States are taking part in Rim of the Pacific, better known as RIMPAC.

The exercise around the Hawaiian Islands involves 22 ships, a submarine, multiple aircraft, and more than 5,000 Sailors.

Because of the pandemic, RIMPAC 2020 is being held only at sea to minimize risk.

"While COVID-19 presents some challenges, all RIMPAC participants are practicing disciplined COVID mitigations to protect the citizens of Hawaii, the force, and prevent the spread of the virus while gaining invaluable experience working alongside our valued partners at sea," said Admiral John Aquilino, Commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, in a statement.

RIMPAC started in 1971 and this year marks the 27th running of the exercise.

From live-fire training to anti-submarine warfare, the exercise is focused on making sure partner nations can operate with one another.

Australia, Brunei, Canada, France, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Republic of the Philippines, and Singapore all have forces participating with the U.S. Navy.