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Multinational naval drill RIMPAC next month

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US Navy aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) during RIMPAC 2010 exercise. A US Navy photo

SAN DIEGO (BNS): Twenty-two countries, including India, will take part in the world's largest multinational maritime exercise, Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2012, in and around the Hawaiian Islands from June 29 to August 3.

The biennial naval drill, hosted by the US Pacific Fleet, will provide "a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world's oceans," the US Navy said.

A total of 42 ships, six submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel from Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, South Korea, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, Tonga, UK and the US will take part in the major naval exercise.

During the drill, the participating nations will test and demonstrate a wide range of their naval capabilities ranging from disaster relief and maritime security operations to sea control and complex warfighting.

Amphibious operations including gunnery, missile, anti-submarine and air defence exercises as well as counter-piracy, mine clearance operations, explosive ordnance disposal and diving and salvage operations will be conducted as part of the drill.

RIMPAC 2012 will feature the first demonstration of a US Navy "Great Green Fleet," during which US surface combatants and carrier-based aircraft will test, evaluate and demonstrate the cross-platform utility and functionality of biofuels, the Navy said.

The theme for this year's RIMPAC, which is the 23rd exercise in the series that began in 1971, is "Capable, Adaptive, Partners."

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