RIMPAC 2022: Building Relationships and Combat Readiness > United States Navy > News Stories – navy.mil | Hot Mobile Press

RIMPAC, the largest international maritime exercise in the world, offers participants a unique training opportunity while building cooperative relationships between countries. These relationships are critical to ensuring the security of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. By forming a combined international force, RIMPAC also improves interoperability across the spectrum of military operations in the maritime environment.



build relationships


As part of the year’s land-based activities, Navy Reserve Sailors assigned to Reserve Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 22 Seabees joined with U.S. Marines and Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy Sailors on several projects at bases around Oahu pouring concrete together to remove and rebuild a stairway for safe beach access.


“As Seabees, we are called to build around the world, and RIMPAC does a lot to inspire confidence,” said Equipment Operator 1st Class Richard “Tyler” Rack of Houston, Texas, who is assigned to NMCB 22, Detachment 3222. “If we had to go to the Republic of Korea or work with them somewhere, we’ve already established a familiarity and a working relationship.”


Such familiarity can be as simple as recognizing uniforms from different countries to understand some of their cultural norms and expectations. It can also pave the way for lasting connections between seafarers and military personnel of other nations.


“The good thing about working with partner nations is that by showing them how to use different tools and techniques and showing them that you trust them, you build a bond and a relationship with them,” said Alan Hopkins, Steelworker 3 .class from Houston, Texas, assigned to NMCB 22, Detachment 3222.


By working together and developing mutual trust, American troops and Partner nations’ nationals improve their overall knowledge and skills.


“I like the experience,” Hopkins said. “[Partner nations] have different ideas and techniques, so the good thing about RIMPAC is that they can come here and show us how they do things.”


However, the language barrier can prove challenging for some RIMPAC participants.


“A big challenge for us was having different languages,” Rack said. “Fortunately, America is a diverse nation with many languages, and we have a sailor in our department who speaks Korean. They were able to translate for us which was so cool.”


Alongside bilingual team members, participants adjusted using translation apps, sometimes even resorting to simple gestures to get their point across. Despite the language barrier, US and ROK sailors were able to get together for their builds.


“Even though the language is different, it seems like we can identify with each other and that’s good,” said ROK Navy Sgt. Maj. Seougju Yun, assigned to ROK Naval Mobile Construction Squadron 59. “It is very enriching to see how colleagues implement projects. I think that training together can help us to be good partners even in an emergency.”



readiness for war


RIMPAC offers Navy Reserve Sailors – who must be mobilized within 72 hours – the opportunity to train at their quarters in accordance with the Chief of Navy Reserve’s Navy Reserve Fighting Instructions.


The combat directives outline four efforts to modernize the force: design, train, mobilize, and develop. The Train the Force line of effort, also known as Mob-to-Billet, advocates that Sailors focus on meeting the warfare requirements of their mobilization bloc in addition to the readiness requirements.


“The RIMPAC experience would absolutely help me mobilize within three days,” Hopkins said. “I can show up and already have experience working with other nations in a joint [forces] situation and that will be helpful in case I need to go to another country.”


RIMPAC is also an opportunity for reserve sailors to be part of a working unit.


“As a Reserve Sailor, my favorite aspect of RIMPAC is being back in a team environment and on a shared mission,” said Rack. “In my experience, you don’t find that deep a level of camaraderie in a civilian setting.”


Coupled with the fact that many Navy Reserve Sailors have a civilian career other than their Navy specialty, their ability to quickly integrate and adapt to any work environment is impressive.


“It amazes me when I show up at a construction project and witness so many of mine [Navy Reserve] Shipmates who are very good at their respective tariffs – carpenters or machinists, for example – and then you ask them what they do on the civilian side, that’s something completely different, and yet they know about construction,” said Rack. “They are teachers, bankers, fitness trainers and business owners. You might never have expected that.”


Combat readiness and interoperability may be RIMPAC’s overall mission, but the most memorable thing for most participants is the continued international camaraderie.


“The friendships we forged during the port phase will lead to lifelong partnerships,” Vice said. Admiral Michael Boyle, commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, serving as commander of the RIMPAC Combined Task Force. “Having a friend you can call when you need help, whose name you already know, whose skills you already know, who you already have a relationship with – that’s what RIMPAC is about.”


Twenty-six nations, 38 ships, four submarines, more than 170 aircraft and 25,000 personnel participated in RIMPAC from June 29 through August 4 in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. For health safety reasons, this is the first full-scale RIMPAC exercise since the COVID-19 pandemic began. RIMPAC 2022 is the 28th exercise in the series, which began in 1971.


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