Ships from five nations steam in formation in the Pacific Ocean Aug. 9 as part of a multilateral exercise. (U.S. Navy photo)

SAN DIEGO - Ships from the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF), Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN), Royal Australian Navy (RAN), Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) and U.S. Navy (USN) and U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) participated in a post Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) multilateral exercise in the Hawaii operating area Aug. 5-9.

Participating maritime units included U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Howard (DDG 83), her Majesty’s Canadian ship (HMCS) Vancouver (FFH 331), Republic of Korea ships (ROKS) Kang Gam Chan (DDH 979) and Sejong the Great (DDG 991), Japanese ship (JS) Hyuga (DDH 181), and Her Majesty’s Australian ship (HMAS) Warramunga (FFH 252).

Participating aircraft included two MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopters embarked on Howard, one CH-124A Sea King embarked on Vancouver, two MK-21A Super Lynx helicopters embarked on Kang Gam Chan and Sejong the Great, one SH-60J Sea Hawk helicopter and two SH-60K helicopters embarked on Hyuga, and one C-130H Hercules from the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG).

As previously demonstrated in 2008, 2010, 2012, and 2014, post-RIMPAC exercises between JMSDF, RAN, ROKN, USCG and USN are conducted to enhance security cooperation and interoperability, while also building a strong working relationship between all participating nations. This year also included maritime forces from RCN.

U.S. and partner nations regularly participate in exercises together, the most recent being RIMPAC 2016. Multilateral exercises strengthen our alliances and enhance stability and peace throughout the Asia-Pacific. The ability to work together at sea benefits the collective security interests of all five nations.