The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) is playing a significant role in 2022’s iteration of the multi-nation Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022, hosted by the commander of the United States Pacific Fleet and led by the commander of U.S. 3rd Fleet biennially. RIMPAC 2022, taking place June 29 to Aug. 4, has returned to a full-scale implementation of the world’s largest maritime exercise. It follows a scaled-back RIMPAC 2020 during the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Starting with leadership roles, Canada is playing a substantial part. This year, under RIMPAC 2022 Commander Vice Adm. Michael Boyle of the United States Navy, Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) Rear-Admiral (RAdm) Christopher Robinson holds the role of deputy commander of Combined Task Force RIMPAC.
Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Brigadier-General (BGen) Mark Goulden is commander of the Joint Force Air Component and in such capacity commands over 170 aircraft during the exercise. Airframes under his charge include a variety of fighter, transport, air-to-air refueling, ground attack, rotary wing and tilt-rotor aircraft and maritime aviation assets from six nations.
RCN Captain (N) Doug Layton is serving as deputy commander of the Combined Force Maritime Component Command. He commands 38 surface vessels including two RCN frigates, HMC Ships Vancouver and Winnipeg, as well as four submarines.
When recently prompted to describe RIMPAC 2022’s importance to the CAF, RAdm Robinson offered, “Canada is playing a significant role in RIMPAC 2022, as we have done since its inception. All participating nations are maritime nations, and we rely on each other to help keep our sea lanes free and open. RIMPAC provides us with the opportunity to grow and refine our individual and combined abilities, and our joint capacity to contribute to security in the Indo-Pacific region. This helps us all.”
With further respect to RIMPAC’s value specifically to the RCN and wider-CAF, he added, “RIMPAC provides participating nations with an unparalleled training environment that allows us to build and strengthen partnerships with our allies. This benefits us enormously not only as a contributing nation, but also in an internal capacity because it allows the CAF to enhance the interoperability of our own Navy and Air Force in a joint navy-air environment.”
Royal Canadian Navy photo by Melissa Gonzalez