The U.S. Navy announced that this year’s Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC 2014) exercise is scheduled to be conducted from late June to early August and will be the largest ever with 23 participating nations, including a diversified mix of maritime, land and air forces from the United States (outside Hawaii), Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Columbia, France, Indonesia, India, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Tonga and United Kingdom.

The visiting forces will include nearly 24,700 military personnel. The Research and Analysis Division of Hawaii’s Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism (DBEDT) has estimated that this group will spend upwards of $52.5 million for gifts, entertainment and other visitor-type expenditures.

This figure does not include millions of dollars in yet-to-be determined government purchases of fuel and other supplies and services in direct support of RIMPAC. It also does not include estimated visitor spending by the thousands of accompanying spouses, children, and other family and friends who are expected to be visiting the islands and spending vacation time during RIMPAC.

The inaugural RIMPAC was held in 1971 and included forces from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. It has since grown to become the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise and is held biennially on even numbered years.  It is hosted and administered by the Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in conjunction with the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Coast Guard, and Hawaii National Guard forces under the control of the Governor of Hawaii.

The U.S. conducts RIMPAC to enhance interoperability between Pacific Rim armed forces as a means of helping to promote stability in the region to benefit all of the participating nations.  The Pacific area of responsibility faces several challenges which threaten regional security and stability and could require naval force-on-force engagements to protect against aggressor nations and enable growth in commerce and trade.

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