SANTIAGO – Chile will become the first non-founding member of Rim of the Pacific, the world’s largest maritime exercise, when it will command the combined-forces sea forces next year.
“The Chilean navy earned this responsibility through years of observation, participation, mastery and leadership at RIMPAC,” said Adm. Scott H. Swift, Pacific Fleet commander, in a speech this week at the Chilean Naval War College in Valparaiso, Chile.
The admiral added he has “every confidence” in the Chilean navy’s ability to lead, reported Stripes.com.
Last year, 26 nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel joined the drills in Hawaii.
Chile has participated in RIMPAC 12 times. Last year, its navy sailed the frigate CNS Almirante Cochrane to Pearl Harbor for several drills.
The first biennial exercise – first held in 1971 – had alternated among the U.S., Australian and Canadian navies.