Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

July 15, 2012 11:30 ET

Minister MacKay to Attend RIMPAC Exercise in the Pacific Region

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - July 15, 2012) - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence departs today for the Pacific Region where he will observe the Canadian Forces' participation in the 2012 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise. This year, with more than 1400 Canadian sailors, soldiers and air personnel participating, the world's largest multi-national exercise has a goal of preparing military forces from Pacific Rim Nations to work together in missions ranging from the provision of humanitarian aid to full-combat operations.

"Exercises like RIMPAC are an integral part of ensuring that our Canadian Forces can work with international militaries in environments around the globe, and can respond together effectively if and when the time comes," said Minister MacKay. "I am looking forward to observing Canada's participation in this Exercise alongside our allies in the Pacific Rim, and to solidifying relationships and strengthening ties with our partners in the region."

Canada has a growing role and interest in the Asia-Pacific region and in Asia-Pacific issues, and the increased engagement in RIMPAC 2012 is a demonstration of that deepening engagement. Canada has been working to strengthen its defence relationships throughout the region, and is committed to deliver on its role as a reliable and trusted security partner within Asia-Pacific.

"RIMPAC offers to our Canadian Forces many opportunities to assume a range of leadership positions, to enhance their abilities and to work alongside other nations of the Pacific Rim region," said Minister MacKay. I am especially proud that this year three senior Canadian military officials have undertaken leadership roles in RIMPAC. This further demonstrates the international community's recognition of the excellence, expertise and professionalism of Canada's men and women in uniform."

In today's world, properly trained, combat-ready forces are essential to defending Canada, countering terrorism, and protecting our national interests in international crises. A joint and integrated multi-national exercise, RIMPAC, builds partnerships based on mutual understanding and respect, preparing like-minded military forces to work together on a wide range of potential operations and missions.

This year Canadian military officers hold three senior positions in RIMPAC 2012. Rear-Admiral Ron Lloyd is the Deputy Commander Combined Task Force; Brigadier-General Michael Hood is the Combined Forces Air Component Commander; and Commodore Peter Ellis is the Commander Combined Task Force 176, an amphibious task group led by USS Essex. RIMPAC 2012 marks the first time that non-American officers are commanding components of the combined task force during the exercise.

Note to the Editor: For more information on Canada's participation in the Rim of the Pacific Exercise 2012, please refer to the backgrounder:

For imagery highlighting Canada's participation in the Rim of the Pacific Exercise 2012, please visit the Combat Camera gallery:

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