HONOLULU, HAWAII--(Marketwire - July 18, 2012) - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, today concluded his three day visit to Hawaii where he attended Rim of the Pacific Exercise 2012 (RIMPAC).
"It was with great pride that I had an opportunity to visit with the men and women of the Canadian Forces as they participate in RIMPAC, the largest military exercise in the Pacific. Our continued participation in this exercise, and the leadership role undertaken by three senior Canadian Officers, demonstrates Canada's ongoing commitment to the Asia-Pacific region and highlights the joint-partnerships we continue to develop with countries in this region," said Minister MacKay. "As a Pacific nation it is important that we continue to work with partner nations as a step toward developing a more specific and nuanced understanding of the Pacific Rim"
Canada's objectives in participating in RIMPAC are to fulfill its role as a trusted security partner within the Asia-Pacific region, to partake in training opportunities and to be prepared to meet the potential security concerns of the region. The Pacific Rim region is recognized as being of great importance for both international commerce and Canada's economic interests. Participation in RIMPAC and regular deployments to the Pacific Rim support Canada's continued focus on the region.
"RIMPAC provides the Royal Canadian Navy with ample opportunities to enhance our war-fighting skills and increase our interoperability with our coalition partners," said Vice-Admiral Paul Maddison, Commander Royal Canadian Navy. "Each nation benefits from the collective diversity of military training and experience of the other participants while completing their own training objectives and increasing their own level of proficiency."
During his visit to RIMPAC, Minister MacKay spent time with Canadian Forces personnel aboard HMCS Algonquin, and visited members of the 2 Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry at the Pohakuloa Training Area. Minister MacKay also met with U.S Pacific Command (USPACOM) Deputy Commander Lieutenant-General Thomas L. Conant of the U.S Marine Corps, paid his respects at the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbour, visited Marine Corps Base Hawaii, and attended exercise briefings aboard the USS Essex. He also met with senior leadership at U.S. Pacific Warfare Command.
Minister MacKay also observed the live fire exercise conducted by HMCS Victoria where the submarine demonstrated it's weapons capability. Victoria successfully fired a MK48 Heavyweight Torpedo on a decommissioned ship today in the weapons testing range near the island of Kauai, Hawaii during the RIMPAC exercise.
"This is a clear demonstration of the full weapons capability of the Victoria-class and marks a significant achievement in HMCS Victoria's return to operations," said Vice-Admiral Maddison. "This platform provides Canada with a unique strategic capability unrivalled in stealth, persistence and lethality that can act decisively on and below the surface of the sea at a time and place of the government's choosing."
RIMPAC is a joint and integrated multi-national exercise that builds partnerships based on mutual understanding and respect. The exercise is preparing like-minded military forces to work together on a wide range of potential operations and missions. RIMPAC began as an annual exercise in 1971, and since 1974 has been scheduled every second year. Canada has participated in every exercise since its inception.
Note to the Editor: For more information on Canada's participation in the Rim of the Pacific Exercise 2012, please refer to the backgrounder: http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/news-nouvelles/news-nouvelles-eng.asp?id=4234
For imagery highlighting Minister MacKay's visit and Canada's participation in the Rim of the Pacific Exercise 2012, please visit the Combat Camera gallery: http://www.combatcamera.forces.gc.ca/site/01/RIMPAC12/index-eng.asp
For more information about the Victoria-class submarines, please refer to the following: