Impact of RIMPAC, balancing the benefits

(Via Ho’okele News)

Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 3rd Class Gary Armstrong from Rockford, Ill. signals the pilot of an F/A-18 Super Hornet to stop as it approaches a catapult aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). Ronald Reagan is underway conducting carrier qualifications. It will participate in RIMPAC 2014 in Hawaii. U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Chelsea Kennedy

Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs

 

Dozens of ships from nearly two dozen countries are arriving in Pearl Harbor next week for the start of RIMPAC—Rim of the Pacific Exercise. RIMPAC 2014 will be held in waters and airspace in and around Hawaii for five weeks beginning June 26.

RIMPAC brings international participants together to foster and sustain cooperative relationships. Training during RIMPAC builds credible, ready maritime forces that help to preserve peace and prevent conflict.

RIMPAC is hosted by U.S. Pacific Fleet, which is headquartered here, and led by U.S. 3rd Fleet, which is headquartered in San Diego but will have most of its key staff here throughout the exercise.

The exercise will be based at Navy Region Hawaii, which includes Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai. Training will also be held at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe and at several other locations in the state.

Some training will be held outside of Hawaii, but most of the exercise will take place in the waters around and near the islands.

The Hawaii operating area and ranges offer a realistic, relevant training opportunity like nowhere else in the world.

Among the land, sea and air training capabilities to be exercised are humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, maritime security operations, sea control and complex warfighting.

Environmental steward-ship and protection of marine mammals are top priorities at all times during the RIMPAC exercise.

In the weeks leading up to RIMPAC, crews receive training on sighting marine mammals and required protective measures. Participants follow established and approved procedures to minimize the potential impact on marine life.

The RIMPAC Combined Information Bureau will take calls from the public and answer questions about the exercise: 808-472-0235.

Some temporary noise and crowds

With 25,000 participants coming to Hawaii, there will be more noise, crowds and traffic expected in the last week of June and through most of July. But along with the inconveniences, there are tangible and intangible benefits to the state.

According to the State of Hawaii Department of Business and Economic Development and Tourism Research and Analysis division, the initial economic benefit for RIMPAC 2014 is projected to be $52.5 million, based on the number of exercise participants and their number of days in port.

By the end of RIMPAC, officially Aug. 1, the overall economic benefit is expected to be tens of millions of dollars higher than $52.5 after calculations are included for purchases of supplies, fuel and food or the spending by families and friends of participating personnel.

Also, after experiencing the aloha spirit of the people of Hawaii and seeing the natural beauty of the ‘aina, the visiting spouses, children, extended family members and friends of participants are expected to return home and “talk story” about the islands, extending the benefits for years to come.

Raising discussion of garage door openers

Remotely controlled garage door openers legally operate at a very low power on an unlicensed basis. Therefore, they can be affected by electromagnetic activity that is generated by Navy ships, civilian boaters or other sources.

During RIMPAC, some remotely-operated garage door openers may be temporarily affected. This can occur if the device is a type (FCC-regulated but unlicensed part 15) that operates on frequencies reserved for federal government systems.

Such devices may not work properly from time to time, especially if they aren’t pointed directly at the door. If that happens, drivers may have to remove the opener from their sun visor and point it directly at the door. If the opener still doesn’t work right, garage door owners may have to open and close their doors manually or consider other options for a short time.

The Navy is required to test commercial surface search radars in port prior to getting underway and as part of scheduled maintenance. Surface search radars are readily available commercially, used by civilian boaters and not a safety issue. Exercising safety is a top priority for the Navy.

Just to be sure their garage door opener will function properly, owners may want to check with their garage door company. At least one company in Hawaii asks their customers to be patient in dealing with the inconvenience, “for a short bit of time, [but] for a lifetime of safety and freedom.”

To learn more about RIMPAC, visit http://www.cpf.navy.mil/rimpac/2014/.

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