RIMPAC 2022: Canada sends 4 warships, 800 personnel to participate in the world’s largest naval exercise

The Canadian military will send four warships and 800 soldiers, sailors and airmen to this summer’s Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise, the world’s largest naval exercise.

The decision was last made at a meeting earlier this month in San Diego attended by senior defense personnel from Canada, the US, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and Singapore.

Two Canadian Navy frigates from British Columbia – HMCS Vancouver and HMCS Winnipeg – will be escorted by Cyclone helicopters, an Aurora patrol aircraft and a pair of coastal defense ships, HMCS Brandon and HMCS Edmonton, at the exercise. battles this summer off Hawaii and California.

The country’s defense ministry said the ongoing war in Ukraine, which has towed Canadian frigates from Halifax to Europe to support NATO’s deterrence measures against Russia, would not affect operations. scheduled naval training activities in the Pacific region.

“Planning for the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) to participate in Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise continues as originally planned despite events in Ukraine,” Defense spokeswoman Véronique Sabourin said. ,” Defense spokeswoman Véronique Sabourin said in an email.

“Our operational readiness management programs ensure the CAF is ready to conduct concurrent operations through participating in and conducting specific exercises and training events in Canada and internationally along with with allies and partners,” added Sabourin.

Canada will take key leadership roles in this year’s exercise. Rear Admiral Angus Topshee will serve as deputy commander of the joint task force, Brigadier General. Mark Goulden will command the air force and Cmdr division of the exercise. Doug Layton will serve as deputy commander of the maritime force.


The biennial RIMPAC exercise was last held in 2020, when Canada sent a smaller team than originally planned due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. The exercise itself was scaled down to two weeks instead of the usual six, and was only held at sea after the US Navy canceled the shore training that had been part of RIMPAC since establish.

The 2022 exercise is expected to return to full-force interoperability training with approximately 25,000 personnel, 41 ships, four submarines and more than 170 aircraft from 27 participating countries.

The list of participating nations may not be announced until June when the exercise gets underway, said a spokesman for the US Navy’s 3rd Fleet, which is hosting the event.

The big question for many military observers is whether the US will invite Taiwan to participate in the exercise for the first time, either as a participant or as an observer.

In December, US President Joe Biden signed into law a defense spending bill that includes a recommendation to conduct “practical exercises and training with Taiwan, including inviting Taiwan to participate in the military exercises”. Exercise Rim of the Pacific in 2022″.

The invitation was proposed by the US Congress to counter “the People’s Republic of China’s increasingly coercive and aggressive behavior towards Taiwan,” under the National Defense Authorization Act.

RIMPAC began as an annual exercise in 1971 before it was switched to biennial due to its large size. Canada is one of the founding countries of the exercise, along with the US and Australia.

National Defense describes participating in the exercise as an important opportunity to build multinational relationships and strengthen peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region.

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