WASHINGTON, June 26 (Xinhua) -- The biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC), the world's largest international maritime exercise consisting of 20 plus nations and hundreds of aircraft, ships and submarines begins on Thursday in and around the Hawaiian Islands, Pentagon said in a statement.
The exercise will provide a unique training opportunity for fostering and sustaining cooperative relationships critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world's oceans, according to the statement.
Initiated by the U.S. Army, RIMPAC 2014 is the 24th such exercise since 1971 and for the first time will include Brunei and China.
The 2014 RIMPAC exercise will focus on developing maritime safety and security capabilities, it added. This year's theme is " Capable, Adaptive Partners". The participating nations and forces will exercise a wide range of capabilities and demonstrate the inherent flexibility of maritime forces.
The event is scheduled to take place in the Hawaiian Operating Area and off-shore ranges including: Joint Base Pearl Harbor- Hickam, the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Bellows Air Force Station, Pohakulao Training Area and Schofield Barracks. Some training events are also scheduled to occur off the coast of southern California.