RIMPAC exercises begin in Hawaii

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The biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC), the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise, began June 27 and runs through Aug. 2.

Twenty-six nations, 47 surface ships, five submarines, 18 national land forces, and more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. They began arriving in Hawaii Monday.

This year’s exercise includes forces from Australia, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tonga, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Vietnam.

The theme of RIMPAC 2018 is “Capable, Adaptive, Partners.” Participating nations and forces will engage in exercises that include 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.

RIMPAC is hosted by U.S. Pacific Fleet and led by U.S. 3rd Fleet. The exercise will be based at Navy Region Hawaii, which includes Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, and the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai. Training will also be held at Marine Corps Base Hawaii and several other locations in the state.

Oahu residents may see and hear increased military activity surrounding the base. Additionally, there will be periods of 24-hour airfield operations and maintenance may occur overnight to support Exercise RIMPAC, and ensure the safe operation of all aircraft.

Bellows Beach Park will be closed to the public from 20-23 and 27-30 July. These closures support Exercise RIMPAC and ensure the safety of service members and the community.

Officials say there will be an increase in noise, crowds and traffic the last week of June and through most of July. Some residents in Hawaii can expect aircraft noise temporarily in certain areas, including in the evening. The intention is to have no flights past 10 p.m. and to keep community disturbances to a minimum.

Community members can report noise concerns online here, or by calling (808) 257-8832.

During RIMPAC, some remotely operated garage door openers may be temporarily affected. This can occur if the device is a type (FCC-regulated but unlicensed Part 15) that operates on frequencies reserved for federal government systems.

Remotely controlled garage door openers legally operate at a very low power on an unlicensed basis. Therefore, they can be affected by electromagnetic activity that is generated by Navy ships, civilian boaters or other sources.

Such devices may not work properly from time to time, especially if they are not pointed directly at the door. If that happens, drivers may have to remove the opener from their sun visor and point it directly at the door. If the opener still doesn’t work right, garage door owners may have to open and close their doors manually or consider other options for a short time.

The Navy is required to test commercial surface search radars in port prior to getting underway and as part of scheduled maintenance. Surface search radars are available commercially, used by civilian boaters and not a safety issue, officials say.

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