About forty-four ships from nearly 24 nations and some 25,000 uniformed personnel have flowed into Pearl Harbor to participate in RIMPAC 2014, which begins on 26 June. The exercise will dominate Hawaii’s seas, skies, and military training areas through 1 August as the military conducts a comprehensive training program aimed at strengthening inter-operability of land, sea and air operations with partner nations. Also included as a prime outcome are exercises to improve humanitarian assistance and disaster relief procedures.

The arrival of some 25,000 international participants is expected to increase traffic, crowds and noise from the last week in June to the end of July. But accompanying these temporary inconveniences are tangible and intangible benefits to the state. According to the Tourism and Analysis division of DBEDT, the initial economic benefit for RIMPAC 2014 is projected to be $52.5 million based on the number of exercise participants and their time in ashore in Honolulu. The overall economic impact is expected to be tens of millions of dollars greater than $52.5 million after adding in local purchases of fuel, food and other supplies in support of RIMPAC and spending by visiting family and friends of participating personnel.

The Navy would like to inform the general public that the large number of ships operating during RIMPAC may potentially impact the operation of remotely controlled garage doors in residential areas in close proximity to Pearl Harbor.

As discussed by Randy Hall from the Navy – Marine Corps Spectrum office on KHON TV2 last Thursday morning, remotely controlled garage door openers legally operate at very low power on an unlicensed basis. Therefore, the openers may be temporarily affected by electromagnetic activity generated by ships participating in RIMPAC, as well as civilian boaters or other similar sources.

This can occur if the device is a type that (FCC-regulated, but unlicensed Part 15) operates on frequencies reserved for federal government systems. Such devices may not work properly from time to time, especially if it is not pointed directly at the door. If that happens, the driver may have to remove the door opener from their sun visor and point it directly at the garage door. If the opener still doesn’t work, owners may have to open and close the doors manually or consider other options for a short period.

To be sure the garage door opener will function properly, owners may want to check with their garage door company. At least one local company has asked their customers to be patient in dealing with this inconvenience … “for a short bit of time, but for a lifetime of safety and freedom.” The Navy recognizes this inconvenience and will take steps to prevent interference, but sometimes wireless devises operating on federal government frequencies could be temporarily affected.

The general public is invited to call 808-472-0235 to learn more about RIMPAC.