India's INS Sahyadri stars at world's biggest naval wargame

By SP's Special Correspondent July 7, 2014 Photo(s): By US Navy
INS Arihant

Indian stealth frigate INS Sahyadri, the first Indian Navy warship to participate in the Rim Of The Pacific (RIMPAC) series of international maritime exercises, has drawn considerable interest at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. She is part of a multinational flotilla of 49 surface ships, six submarines and more than 200 aircraft involved in the exercise, along with about 25,000 personnel from 22 nations and six observer nations, participating in the 24th RIMPAC exercise, the world's largest international maritime exercise, till August 1, in the East Pacific. Sahyadri and the other surface combatants will, according to the US Navy, conduct training ashore and out at sea in a coalition and joint effort.

"RIMPAC is 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," says the US Navy.

“I think it’s important to note that by simply attending RIMPAC, every nation here is making the bold statement that we must improve multilateral military cooperation despite disagreements,” U.S. Navy Adm. Harry Harris, Pacific Fleet commander said. “Today, maritime cooperation is more vital than ever. For centuries the world’s oceans kept us apart but in this increasingly globalized world the world’s oceans bring us together.”

“The rebalance is based on a strategy of cooperation and collaboration and that’s why it’s imperative that we work together to build trust and confidence to solve our collective maritime challenges,” Harris said. “When great nations work together, we can accomplish great things. Collaboration and cooperation; that’s why we’re here, to learn together, to operate together, and to sail together.”

“It’s going to be very valuable training but make no mistake it’s going to be very hard work,” said U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Kenneth E. Floyd, Combined Task Force commander. “I’m already proud and very honored to have the opportunity to lead the 25,000 people from 22 different countries on the RIMPAC team this year and I’m looking forward to all that they are about to do out on the high seas.”

Harris said that building mutual trust and opening lines of communication are critical for success but challenging to build. RIMPAC offers participants the chance to work alongside other nations in preparation for real world events, and is designed to strengthen rebalance efforts of the Asia-Pacific region.