Israel in, China out for world’s largest naval exercise in Hawaii

The US Navy said it rescinded its invitation to China but for the first time invited Israel, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Brazil to participate in a huge naval exercise in Hawaii. 

By: World Israel News Staff 

China has been disinvited by the US Navy from a major naval exercise in Hawaii, but Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Brazil and Israel are in for the first time in this summer’s Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) naval exercise.

In May the US Navy said that 26 nations, 47 surface ships, five submarines, 18 national land forces, and more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel will participate in the biennial RIMPAC being held June 27 to Aug. 2, according to the American internet site Stars and Stripes.

The US rescinded its RIMPAC invitation to China, a nation that took part in previous RIMPAC exercises that took place in 2014 and 2016.

The Spratly Islands in the South China Sea have become a source of contention with China attempting exert influence ver the islands.

This would mark the first time Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Brazil and Israel have joined the drills, the Navy said.

The US 3rd fleet leads the biennial RIMPAC event off the coast of Hawaii and southern California.

“Capable Adaptive Partners” is the theme of this year’s RIMPAC.

Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, South Korea, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Tonga and the United Kingdom will also participate.

Israel’s Navy is relatively small compared to other IDF corps, though extending the exclusive economic zone (EEZ)off Israel’s coast from 40 miles to 150 miles four years ago has increased challenges.