SEOUL, June 2 (Korea Bizwire) – The South Korean Navy said Thursday it plans to join the Rim of the Pacific exercise (RIMPAC), a US-led biennial multinational naval drill, which will kick off late June, in a bid to boost the combat capability of its ships and crew.
A group of about 700 servicemen from the Navy and Marine Corps will take part in this year’s RIMPAC, which will be held from June 30 to Aug. 4 in waters off Hawaii, according to military officials.
The Navy said it plans to send three warships including the Aegis-equipped Sejong the Great destroyer, maritime surveillance aircraft and other military assets. A guided missile destroyer and a submarine will also be present at the exercise.
This year’s exercise is seen as being the largest ever and will involve military personnel from 27 nations with units undergoing a variety of tactical maneuvers such as anti-submarine drills and firing exercises with guided missiles.
Before joining the RIMPAC, South Korea will attend the Pacific Dragon ballistic missile defense exercise with the United States and Japan in a bid to counter North Korea’s missile threats.
The exercise, moreover, is designed to check the three countries’ capacity to track ballistic missiles and share relevant information, involving their Aegis destroyers.
After the completion of the RIMPAC, South Korea, the U.S., Japan and Australia will conduct joint naval drills such as the Search and Rescue Exercise (SAREX).