NEWS | April 9, 2018

3rd Fleet Hosts Rim of the Pacific Exercise 2018 Final Planning Conference

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Curtis D. Spencer

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet hosted the final planning conference (FPC) for Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) 2018 at the Admiral Kidd Conference Center at Naval Base Point Loma in San Diego, April 3-6.

The world's largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world's oceans.

More than 1,000 personnel from 27 countries participating in RIMPAC 2018 attended the FPC to streamline preparations for the exercise.

Vice Adm. John D. Alexander, commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, concluded the conference with closing remarks. Alexander emphasized three lines of effort: planning, relentless execution of operations, and aggressive risk management.

"Capable, adaptive partners is the theme of RIMPAC 2018; I think everyone lived up to that," Alexander said. "It was good planning by all. I think we are in a good spot. We took care of everything we needed to take care of at this time."

The event afforded attendees the opportunity to disseminate information and finalize planning for RIMPAC 2018.

Royal Australian Navy Lt. Cmdr. Dean Uren, a RIMPAC coordinator attached to U.S. 3rd Fleet, explained how proper preparation increases knowledge and will help lead to a successful exercise.

"The FPC provides an opportunity for planners and participants to review and confirm the plan that we'll execute this summer," Uren said. "As the world's largest maritime exercise there are a number of moving parts to make it work. The FPC ensures that the whole RIMPAC planning community is focused on the problem set at the same time. Having everyone focused together is an effective way to get the job done. It's a powerful planning tool."

Topics for the various briefs included: accommodations, security, logistics and communications, and an evaluation of materiel requirements for the exercise.

"Many hands make light work," Uren said. "RIMPAC doesn't happen without conferences like FPC and the people who attend them. The RIMPAC community is prepared and ready to execute another successful exercise."

The conference was the second to last event in the RIMPAC 18 planning conference series. This year's exercise will include first-time participants from Brazil, Israel, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.

"Everything has gone very well," Vietnam People's Navy Lt. Cmdr. Le Binh, commanding officer, Vietnam Assimilation Center said. "We have achieved all of our goals and objectives for the conference. I have received a wonderful welcome to the RIMPAC planning community. I have gotten a lot of support from all my counterparts during the FPC. Every day I get more and more excited thinking about the exercise."

A staff exercise slated for April 9-12 will give personnel a final chance to evaluate the planning phase.

RIMPAC began in 1971 and was held annually until 1974, when it became a biennial exercise due to its large scale. The founding nations are the United States, Australia and Canada. This will be the 26th RIMPAC since inception.

U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Pacific and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy and constantly coordinates with U.S. 7th Fleet to plan and execute missions that promote ongoing peace, security, and stability throughout the Pacific.