USS Carl Vinson heads to Hawaii for RIMPAC

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SAN DIEGO – USS Carl Vinson deployed from San Diego Monday where it will join other fleets to take part in RIMPAC.

The Rim of the Pacific Exercise is the world’s largest maritime warfare exercise held every other year during June and July. It is based in Hawaii.

The RIMPAC exercise involves 26 countries from across the world, including Australia, India, Japan and the United Kingdom. Over 25,000 people are involved in the military operation.

The largest maritime exercise in the world strengths relationships with their partners, according to USS Carl Vinson’s Commanding Officer Capt. Matt Paradise.

“Safety is my number one priority,” Paradise said. “Rest assured we’ll be home before you know it and the sailors will have great stories to tell.”

In late May, the US withdrew an invitation to China to participate in the RIMPAC.

A Pentagon spokesman said in a statement that “China’s behavior is inconsistent with the principles and purposes of the RIMPAC exercise,” and it has “disinvited the PLA Navy from the 2018 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise.”

The decision to withdraw China’s invitation was made by Defense Secretary James Mattis in coordination with the White House, according to a US official, after Beijing’s recent deployment of missile systems and the first landing of a Chinese bomber on an island in the South China Sea.

The same defense official told CNN that the US has its own imagery showing China’s deployment of anti-ship missiles, surface-to-air missiles and jammers on disputed islands.

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