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Posted: Monday, June 30th, 2014 1:59 PM HST

Hawaii draws 25K military personnel for exercises

By Associated Press

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (AP) About 25,000 military personnel from nearly two dozen countries around the Pacific are massing in Hawaii for the world's largest maritime exercises.

The leaders of the Rim of the Pacific exercise are holding a news conference Monday to discuss the maneuvers.

U.S. Third Fleet commander Vice Adm. Kenneth Floyd is the combined task force commander.

Royal Australian Navy Rear Adm. Simon Cullen is the deputy commander. Rear Adm. Yasuki Nakahata of the Japanese navy is the vice commander.

The U.S. hosts the drills in Hawaii every two years. China sent ships to participate this year for the first time.

The Navy says the maneuvers helps foster cooperative relationships critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world's oceans.

The drills will last through Aug. 1.

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