According to a recent press release, Royal Air Force (RAF) personnel and aircraft have deployed to Hawaii for Rim of the Pacific 24 (RIMPAC), the largest military training exercise in the region.

Two Poseidon MRA1 (P-8A) maritime patrol aircraft have arrived at Hickam Air Force Base to join over 25,000 personnel from 28 other nations in this biennial event.

The Poseidon aircraft embarked on a 7,000 nautical mile journey from RAF Lossiemouth to Honolulu, with a refuelling stop at Goose Bay, Canada, and an overnight stay near Seattle.

The exercise includes members of CXX and 201 Squadrons who will train alongside other maritime patrol squadrons, fighter aircraft, 40 surface ships, and three submarines. Engineering and operations support personnel will also collaborate with multinational colleagues, with some embedded within the exercise headquarters.

Group Captain Pete Thorbjornsen, Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff, 11 Group RAF, stated in the press release:

“We work closely with allied and partner nations in the Indo-Asia Pacific to improve Inter-operability, enhance security and provide disaster relief in humanitarian crises. RIMPAC will help strengthen and reinforce these relationships and demonstrates our commitment to a free and open region.”

In addition to RIMPAC, the RAF is participating in Exercise Pitch Black in northern Australia.

Wing Commander Jim Henderson, Detachment Commander, highlighted the significance of the exercise in the press release:

“As the first global exercise for RAF Poseidon, RIMPAC will be a good test of our ability to deploy at long range and then operate with allies and partner nations in a challenging and unfamiliar environment. The exercise is the latest step in the continued growth of the Poseidon Force and a reflection of how far we’ve come since we received our first aircraft four years ago.”

RIMPAC represents the longest and furthest range exercise to date for Britain’s P-8 Poseidon force. It also marks the largest gathering of Poseidon aircraft, with squadrons from the US Navy, Indian Navy, Royal Australian Air Force, Royal New Zealand Air Force, and Republic of Korea Air Force all participating.

Other maritime patrol aircraft from Japan and Canada will also be involved, say the RAF.

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Jim (@guest_833269)
10 days ago

This is probably a much better way for us to participate in RIMPAC than sending a warship. Makes you wonder why we didn’t do this before.

Jonathan (@guest_833342)
10 days ago

European NATO have put a huge amount of resources into the pacific over the last couple of years….UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy have all deployed meaningful forces this year with Two European CBGs heading to the pacific over the next two years.

It very much looks like Europe is starting to seriously consider how it can support the western pacific deterrence.

Jim (@guest_833357)
10 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Would be nice to see Japanese, South Korean, Australian and Singapore warship visit some NATO exercises, maybe in the Mediterranean.

FormerUSAF (@guest_833491)
10 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Capital idea, provided real world issues created by DPRK and PRC do not interfere. 🤞👍

Oscar Zulu
Oscar Zulu (@guest_833685)
9 days ago
Reply to  Jim

It’s unlikely that the RAN would consider this to be a priority given the need to focus on training with Indo-Pacific navies and developing relationships and interoperability for the threats closer to home. The focus is similarly local for the RAAF. The European airforce deployments to the Pacific are more about them learning (or relearning) and practicing the logistical art of deploying air wings over transcontinental distances. They are not deploying at a strategic mass since the numbers of fighter aircraft from Europe at Pitch Black will be really quite small 8 from Germany, 4 from Spain, 4 from France… Read more »

FormerUSAF (@guest_833495)
10 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

RIMPAC is an excellent I-P multinational exercise, which may have the additional benefit of inducing a degree of caution/paranoia into PRC expansionist planning w/in SCS. One can only hope…🤞