Pacific Ocean - The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) and Carrier Air Wing Two departed from the Southern California operating area June 18 to participate in the biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise scheduled June 26 to August 1, in and around the Hawaiian Islands.

RIMPAC is the world's largest international maritime exercise and serves as a unique training opportunity for participating countries to foster and sustain the cooperative relationships and interoperability that are critical to ensure security on the world's oceans.

Reagan and its embarked Carrier Strike Group Nine command staff will work with 46 ships, six submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel from 23 nations to exercise a wide range of capabilities and demonstrate the inherent flexibility of maritime forces.

"RIMPAC has a long, rich tradition dating back to 1971, so we're incredibly excited to be participating in this important international exercise," said Capt. Christopher Bolt, Reagan's commanding officer. "Every opportunity we have to strengthen relations with our partner countries and exercise cooperative efforts allows us to improve the way in which we provide safety and security for the world's sea lanes."

Reagan last participated in the RIMPAC exercise series in 2010.