In First, Israel to Participate in World’s Largest Naval Exercise

An Israeli navy vessel enters the southern port of Ashdod after intercepting the French yacht Dignite/Al Karama carrying pro-Palestinian activists in international waters as it tried to reach Gaza in defiance of Israel's naval blockade on the tiny Palestinian territory on July 19, 2011.
JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty

TEL AVIV – Israel’s navy will for the first time participate in the summer Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) multinational naval exercise led by the U.S. 3rd fleet off the coast of Hawaii.

Israel will join 26 other nations, 47 surface ships, five submarines, 18 national land forces, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel at RIMPAC later this month.

“As part of the efforts to maintain its competence and develop its capabilities, the Navy takes part in international exercises regularly. In the coming weeks, Israel’s naval arm is expected to participate in the RIMPAC exercise, one of the largest exercises in the field of naval warfare,” said a statement provided to the Jerusalem Post by the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.

Other countries participating in this summer’s RIMPAC, which is the world’s largest maritime drill, are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, South Korea, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Tonga and the United Kingdom.

Israel will join other first-timers Brazil, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.

The Jewish state is the only representative from the Middle East.

A statement from the 3rd fleet said the theme of RIMPAC 2018 is “Capable, Adaptive, Partners” with participating nations exercising a wide range of capabilities and demonstrating the inherent flexibility of maritime forces.

RIMPAC will focus on a wide range of capabilities “critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans” with exercises dealing with anything from disaster relief to counter-piracy, mine clearance operations, air defense drills and complex maritime warfare.

“Participating nations and forces will exercise a wide range of capabilities and demonstrate the inherent flexibility of maritime forces,” read a statement released by the U.S. 3rd fleet.

“These capabilities range from disaster relief and maritime security operations to sea control and complex warfighting. The relevant, realistic training program includes amphibious operations, gunnery, missile, anti-submarine and air defense exercises, as well as counter-piracy operations, mine clearance operations, explosive ordnance disposal and diving and salvage operations.”

The live field training exercise will include tactical level and limited operational level training featuring the launch of a Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) from a U.S. Air Force aircraft, surface-to-ship missiles by the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force and a Naval Strike Missile (NSM) from a launcher on the back of a Palletized Load System (PLS) by the U.S. Army.

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