Tomorrow marks the start of RIMPAC, that international bi-ennial firefight free-for-all carried out on the land and in the sea all around Hawaii.
It’s the time when the military shows its might and reminds just who really runs the show here, and why the U.S. colonized Hawaii in the first place.
This year’s war games will even include a guest appearance by the Navy’s newest star, its first littoral combat ship, the USS Freedom. It’s a variation of the JHSV/Superferry, a super expensive — we’re talking $500 million per — vessel designed to be used in shallow, nearshore waters, in response to perceived threats from China.
As part of its maiden deployment (or perhaps to generate some cash for its keep?), the LCS:
[C]onducted counter-illicit trafficking (CIT) operations, making four successful seizures that yielded more than five tons of cocaine, two "go fast" drug vessels, and nine suspected smugglers taken into custody.
So handy, that boat. And RIMPAC will give it even more opportunities to strut its stuff. It will be playing these war games with, according to Hawaii Navy News, 14 nations, 34 ships, five submarines, more than 100 aircraft and 20,000 personnel. Wow plenty guys gonna be converging on Waikiki.
The U.S., of course, will be running the show, with Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, Peru, Republic of Korea, Singapore and Thailand. You know. All the super powers.
And what will they be doing? Conducting gunnery, missile, anti-submarine and air defense exercises, as well as maritime interdiction and vessel boardings, explosive ordnance disposal, diving and salvage operations, mine clearance operations and an amphibious landing.
In other words, blowing stuff up, using sonar, flying low and loud and generally making a mess and nuisance, just like they have been since 1971, doing stuff like this and this and leaving all their toxic crap in the ocean.
I’m sure the fish and dolphins and monk seals and all the other critters out there really appreciate it.
But hey, at least now they’re not bombing Kahoolawe.
And of course, we should be grateful, because they’re doing it all for us. According to the Navy, RIMPAC "helps ensure stability throughout the Pacific Rim" and encourages development and prosperity.
Like the estimated $43 million they’ll drop here through Aug. 1.
Oh, now I get it.