RCAF takes to the sky over Exercise RIMPAC


A Royal Canadian Air Force CC-177 Globemaster from 429 Transport Squadron lands at Marine Corps Base Hawaii during RIMPAC 2022 carrying Canadian Armed Forces members and equipment. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Corporal Haley Fourmet Gustavsen.

Lt(N) Michelle Scott 
HMCS Vancouver PAO, 
Capt Jennie Derenzis 
Combined Information Bureau, RIMPAC 2022, 
Major Trevor Reid 
Combined Information Bureau, RIMPAC 2022

Canada: A ‘Capable, Adaptive, Partner’ at RIMPAC 2022
Part Two in a series on the Royal Canadian’s participation in RIMPAC 2022

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) plays a significant role in this iteration of the multi-nation Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022, hosted by the Commander of the United States Pacific Fleet and led by the Commander of the U.S. 3rd Fleet biennially.

RIMPAC 2022, from June 29 to Aug. 4, has returned to a full-scale implementation of the world’s largest maritime exercise. It follows a scaled-back RIMPAC 2020 during the early months of COVID-19. 

Holding the critical role of RIMPAC 2022 Commander of the Joint Force Air Component, Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Brigadier-General (BGen) Mark Goulden commands over 170 aircraft during the Exercise. Airframes under his charge include a variety of fighter, transport, air-to-air refuelling, ground attack, rotary wing and tilt-rotor aircraft, as well as maritime aviation assets from six nations.

A key component of the RCAF’s support to RIMPAC 2022 is the provision of approximately 50 members working alongside the United States Air Force’s 613th Air Operations Squadron in the Exercise Combined Aerospace Operations Centre (CAOC). The CAOC is the coordination hub for all air tasking orders that facilitate aircraft effects throughout the Exercise.

The RCAF also participates in the Exercise over the Pacific Ocean by deploying two CP-140 Aurora Long Range Patrol aircraft. These aircrews have considerable experience working with partners and allies in the Pacific region, having recently supported CAF Operations Neon and Projection.

“[During the exercise] we will be conducting surface, subsurface, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions,” Major Andy Holden, 407 Long Range Patrol Squadron detachment commander, said. “The RCAF has considerable expertise, but we’re happy to learn from our Australian, Indian, Japanese, Korean, and American partners with whom we are flying to build our capabilities.”

Additional RCAF air capability with participation in RIMPAC 2022 is the CC-177 Globemaster from 429 Transport Squadron that delivered personnel and equipment to Kaneohe Bay (Oahu) in early July, and both HMCS Vancouver’s and HMCS Winnipeg’s embarked CH-148 Cyclone helicopter air detachments. The latter provide their ship’s eyes and ears beyond the horizon during the sea phase of the Exercise.

When reflecting on Canada’s air force contributions to RIMPAC 2022, BGen Goulden said the RCAF is proud to contribute.

“RIMPAC 2022 is rooted in the theme ‘Capable, Adaptive, Partners’. It’s about increasing interoperability, resiliency, and agility amongst partner nations to ensure a stable and secure Pacific that provides all nations with the opportunity to prosper.

“The RCAF is both proud and enthusiastic to find its place in and contribute to that effort, and also this year to provide expertise at the leadership level of air power. With each sortie and through the invaluable practising of joint-capability, we continue to build and cement lasting and meaningful relationships with our nation partners.” 


A Royal Canadian Air Force Patrol (CP) 140 Aurora aircraft prepares to land on at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, in support of RIMPAC 2022. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Third Class Elisha Smith.

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