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NZDF joins RIMPAC exercise in waters around Hawaii

Royal New Zealand Navy ship HMNZS Aotearoa has sailed into Hawaii’s Pearl Harbor as a part of the New Zealand contingent participating in Exercise RIMPAC, or Rim of the Pacific.

02 July, 2022

Royal New Zealand Navy ship HMNZS Aotearoa has sailed into Hawaii’s Pearl Harbor as a part of the New Zealand contingent participating in Exercise RIMPAC, or Rim of the Pacific.

New Zealand is one of 26 nations participating in the exercise that will be taking place in the Pacific between 29 June and 4 August and which focusses on maritime capability and demonstrating the full spectrum of military operations in the maritime environment.

Commissioned in 2020, HMNZS Aotearoa is the Navy’s newest, and largest ever ship. The ship is a polar-class sustainment vessel that will be used to refuel ships at sea throughout the exercise.

In addition to HMNZS Aotearoa, there are Navy dive and hydrography teams, a NZ Army Joint Fires Team and Royal New Zealand Air Force, Army and Navy personnel who will fill roles in both the Combined Air Operations and Principle Warfighting Centres, and the Carrier Strike Group Sea Combat Commander role.

HMNZS Aotearoa arriving at Pearl Harbour. Photo by U.S. Navy

HMNZS Aotearoa arriving at Pearl Harbour. Photo by U.S. Navy

Commander Dave Barr, the Commanding Officer of HMNZS Aotearoa, said the ship’s company was excited to be taking part in RIMPAC 22. 

“This exercise is a triumph of bringing diverse nations together, so that when horrific events like the volcanic eruption in Tonga in January happen, we already know each other and it makes it easy to bring a multinational response together, fast.

“That gets the right aid to the people who need it most, as soon as possible. It makes the world a bit smaller, and nicer when you’re working with people you know.”