World's largest maritime exercises start in Hawaii

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HONOLULU (AP) — More than one month of naval maneuvers involving the militaries of nearly two dozen nations are beginning in Hawaii this week. For the first time, Chinese vessels are participating in the drills that the U.S. Pacific Fleet hosts every two years.

The Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercises are the world's largest maritime drills. They begin Thursday and are scheduled to last through Aug. 1.

Some ships started their training en route.

Nine ships from Brunei, China, Singapore and the U.S. sailed together from Guam to Pearl Harbor.

USS Chosin commander Capt. Patrick Kelly says the ships practiced communications, maneuvering and weapons-firing drills. They also held personnel exchanges.

China sent military observers to watch RIMPAC drills in 1998, but it has never sent ships before.

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