Sri Lanka Navy Marines complete RIMPAC 2022 hosted by US Pacific Fleet

Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) Marines departed for Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2022 hosted by the United States Pacific Fleet and arrived on the island on August 8, 2022. In 2022, it will take place in the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California.

The SLN Marine Contingent for RIMPAC 2022 consisted of 50 members, including both officers and sailors, who initially departed for Australia on a special flight arranged by the Royal Australian Air Force on 4 July. In Townsville, Australia, the SLN unit partnered with the Royal Australian Navy’s HMAS Canberra crew for an acclimatization program before setting off for RIMPAC 2022.

The Rim of the Pacific exercise, which began on June 29, is now in its 28th year, involving 38 surface vessels, 03 submarines, 170 aircraft, and 26 ground forces from 26 countries, including Sri Lanka and Australia. More than 25,000 military personnel participated, including , Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, South Korea, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Tonga, UK, US.

Meanwhile, in Townsville, Australia, the SLN Marines conducted a week-long field training program with members of the Royal Australian Army, covering small arms movement and firing, military operations in urban terrain, and field formation and signaling. honed the skills of En route to Hawaii aboard HMAS Canberra, they also conducted crowd handling, embarking and disembarking training, and amphibious mission planning training exercises.

En route to Hawaii, the SLN Marines played a friendly volleyball match against the Australian and Tongan teams aboard HMAS Canberra and were the winners of the friendly encounter.

The Rim of the Pacific exercise is the world’s largest international naval warfare exercise. The Sri Lankan Navy played a key role in the RIMPAC amphibious assault exercise, working with Australia, Chile, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, South Korea, Tonga, and the United States. During these exercises, SLN Marines got first-hand experience with the latest high-impact equipment used by their counterparts around the world. Additionally, helicopter operations at HMAS Canberra provided a fresh experience for the SLN force.

This year’s exercise program also included disaster relief, gunnery, missile, anti-submarine, air defense exercises, amphibious, anti-piracy, mine clearance, explosive ordnance disposal, resupply at sea, diving and rescue operations. Participation in this type of exercise involving regional and extra-regional navies has enabled the Sri Lankan Navy to exchange best practices and foster and maintain partnerships. In particular, SLN Marines were able to team up for specific scenarios and hone their ability to communicate and fight with each other in a realistic training environment. Such engagement would therefore pave the way for collectively overcoming common ocean challenges in the future.

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