By Felipe Lagos/Diálogo August 28, 2018 The world’s largest multinational maritime exercise, held June 27th-August 2nd, concluded after a month of rigorous training within the Hawaiian Islands and its waters. Hosted by the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet, Rim of the Pacific 2018 (RIMPAC) gathered more than 25,000 service members, 45 surface ships, five submarines, and more than 200 aircraft from 25 countries. Under the slogan Capable, Adaptive, Partners, RIMPAC 2018 focused on natural disaster, maritime security and control operations, as well as complex warfare exercises. International military forces demonstrated their skills through artillery, missiles, antisubmarine and air defense exercises, counter-piracy missions, mine clearance, explosive ordnance disposal, and amphibious operations, among others. Service members from Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States, among others, combined efforts for RIMPAC 2018. Israel, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam participated for the first time. Another first for the exercise was the nomination of the Chilean Navy as the Combined Force Maritime Component Commander (CFMCC), under the command of Chilean Navy Rear Admiral Pablo Niemann Figari. For the first time in RIMPAC’s 40-plus years, a non-English speaking navy spearheaded CFMCC. “Nearly all goals of each participating nation were met,” Rear Adm. Niemann said. “Likewise, instructions or requirements of the command [U.S. Navy Vice Admiral John Alexander, Combined Task Force commander for RIMPAC 2018] were also fulfilled.” Disaster response and naval warfare Participants of RIMPAC 2018 responded to a simulated natural disaster at Pearl Harbor-Hickam Joint Base, on Oahu island, Hawaii. According to the scenario, a large-scale earthquake and tsunami hit the island, causing structural damage to infrastructure, death, and many injuries. The natural disaster prompted the U.S. government to request international military help. Services members from 10 countries took part in the humanitarian assistance simulation to rescue hundreds of patients—300 civilian volunteers—provide first aid, and transport victims by helicopter and ambulance to hospitals in Hawaii. Organizations such as the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, and the U.S. Agency for International Development, among others, took part in the civil-military exercise. Five submarines—the U.S. Navy’s USS Hawaii, USS Illinois, and USS Olympia; the Royal Australian Navy’s HMAS Rankin; and the South Korean Navy’s ROKS Park Wi—also carried out various operations The submarines performed three missions: amphibious, antisubmarine warfare, and support for special operations forces. Submarines supported a multinational special operations force—with units from seven countries—as it conducted an amphibious landing on the coast of Oahu. Submarine crew members also participated in detection and evasion exercises with surface ships and various aircraft. Another event that stood out: the live shot from USS Olympia of a Harpoon anti-ship cruise missile. The missile successfully hit its target, a retired ship sunk for that purpose. Through the exercises, participants demonstrated tactical maneuvering capabilities and interoperability among participating nations. “Multinational operations are complicated,” Vice Adm. Alexander said. “It takes skill to assemble an international team and have it be successful […]. This team proved they work great together and can adapt quickly to a dynamic environment.” Enduring partnerships The U.S Navy’s Third Fleet (C3F) debuted the Innovation Fair, held June 29th-30th. Twenty-two countries took part in the exhibition that featured sonar equipment, unmanned submarine vehicles, virtual reality technology, and advances in the medical and space fields. The fair served as a forum for technology exchange among partner nations. C3F expects to increase the reach of the fair for RIMPAC 2020. The Chilean Marine Corps’ participation was also unprecedented, with 25 service members joining landing forces at RIMPAC 2018. Chilean marines trained with their international counterparts and performed tasks successfully. “It’s a great honor to represent our Marine Corps in marking its 200 years of history,” Chilean Marine Corps Second Lieutenant Ernesto Iribarne said. “Some of our personnel expected to meet highly superior units in terms of equipment and capabilities, and actually I feel we brought about the surprise. Many marines from different countries were surprised with our equipment and readiness.” Held since 1971, the biannual exercise seeks to strengthen interoperability among the armed forces of the Pacific basin—as well as other countries—to promote stability and ensure the safety of maritime routes in the region. The exercise helps strengthen bonds of friendship among partner nations. “I couldn’t be more proud of our international teams’ ability to successfully complete an exercise of this nature,” Vice Adm. Alexander said. “We were able to conclude the exercise safely and to reach the national training goals. This is a true testament to the talent and lasting partnerships we built through RIMPAC.”
The €6.3bn pension fund of insurance provider UWV has raised its risk profile by increasing exposure to private equity and infrastructure.According to its 2015 annual report, it also plans to increase real estate investments and holdings in commercial and residential mortgages at the expense of its euro-denominated government bond and equity allocations.The scheme said it had decided, based partly on a survey into the risk appetite of its participants, to allocate 10% of its portfolio to risk-bearing investments, adding that it had already reduced its strategic interest hedge from 60% to 50%.It estimates its policy change will increase its surplus return by 0.7 percentage points to 2.2%. The UWV scheme aims to raise the combined private equity and infrastructure allocation to 5%, with the help of asset manager Partners Group.Its property and mortgages portfolios are to account for 10% and 6% of overall assets, respectively.The scheme has placed the four asset classes in a separate portfolio that holds illiquid investments – next to its regular matching and return portfolios – specifically meant for generating returns for indexation.The Pensioenfonds UWV said it also wanted to focus on cost-saving via passive investment, pointing out that its developed-market equity, government bond, inflation-linked bond and commodities holdings were already under passive management.It said it would update its contracts with pensions provider TKP Pensioen and fiduciary asset manager Allianz Global Investors this year.Last year, it replaced Morgan Stanley as its active manager for local-currency emerging market debt (EMD) with Legal & General, which now manages the investments passively.It said it would review Aberdeen AM as active manager of its hard-currency EMD holdings after the manager underperformed last year by 4.1 percentage points. The UWV scheme posted a net return of -0.6% due largely to a 3.3% loss on its matching portfolio, as well as negative results on its interest and currency hedges.It said its strategy shift also reduced its return by 0.5 percentage points.The pension paid €152 per participant for pensions administration and spent 0.38% and 0.17% on asset management and transactions, respectively.Its funding stood at 95.7% as at the end of June.