Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) Marine contingent which left for the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2022, hosted by the US Pacific Fleet, arrived the island on 08th August 2022. The SLN contingent on 03rd August successfully completed its leg in the RIMPAC 2022, held in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California.

SLN Marine contingent for RIMPAC 2022 comprised 50 members including both officers and sailors who first left for Australia by a special flight arranged by Royal Australian Air Force on 04th July. In Townsville, Australia the SLN contingent partnered with crew of HMAS Canberra of Royal Australian Navy for an acclimatization programme and subsequently left for RIMPAC 2022.

Commenced on 29th June, Rim of the Pacific Exercise was conducted for the 28th time this year and it was featured by 38 surface ships, 03 submarines, 170 aircraft and over 25000 armed force personnel including 09 ground troops from 26 countries including Sri Lanka, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Republic of Korea, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Tonga, UK and US.

Meanwhile, in Townsville, Australia, SLN Marines carried out a week-long field training programme with members of the Royal Australian Army, where they honed their skills in small arm movement and firing, military operation in urban terrain, field formation and signal. En route to Hawaii onboard HMAS Canberra, they also conducted training exercises of crowd disposal, embarkation and disembarkation drills and amphibious mission planning.

The Rim of the Pacific Exercise is the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise. Sri Lanka Navy played a key part in the RIMPAC Amphibious Assault Exercise going hand in hand with Australia, Chile, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Korea, Tonga and the US. In these exercises, SLN Marines had a firsthand experience of modern and influential equipment used by counterparts across from the globe. Further, helicopter operations onboard HMAS Canberra provided the SLN contingent a refreshing experience.

This year’s exercise programme also included disaster relief, gunnery, missile, anti-submarine and air defense exercises, as well as amphibious, counter-piracy, mine clearance, explosive ordnance disposal, replenishment at sea and diving & salvage operations. Taking part in this nature of exercises participated by regional and extra-regional navies, enabled the Sri Lanka Navy to exchange best practices and foster and sustain cooperative relationships. Especially, SLN Marines managed to team up in response to specific scenarios and refine their ability to communicate and fight alongside one another in a realistic training environment. Thus, such engagements will pave the way for overcoming common maritime challenges collectively in the future. (SL Navy )