Reporoa man Daniel Chatterton has been keeping hundreds of hungry military people fed during the world's largest international maritime exercise in Hawaii.

As leading chef Mr Chatterton has been serving thousands of meals a day on board HMAS Canberra, Australia's largest warship, in the Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) which is held every second year.

It involves 26 nations, 45 ships, five submarines, more than 200 aircraft, and 25,000 personnel.

Mr Chatterton has been working one of a team of Australian and New Zealand Defence Force chefs producing three meals a day for the nearly 1000 personnel on HMAS Canberra, one of Australia's newest and largest warships.

The ship is even able to make its own bread - using 50 kilograms of flour to produce 80kg of bread dough per batch.

"The ship has a bun divider so the dough is added to the machine which flattens it, cuts it into 30 pieces, and shapes the buns ready for cooking. There is lots of different equipment on HMAS Canberra, and that's been a highlight of this RIMPAC," he said.

He also went to the last RIMPAC, in 2014, on the Royal New Zealand Navy's HMNZS Canterbury.

"Working on Canberra this time has been a great opportunity to experience how another nation operates."

Mr Chatterton said the experience of working in a large galley and learning from the Australians how to work more efficiently with the equipment they had to feed a large ship's company had been really interesting.

"The sharing of techniques between the nations provides opportunities to learn and to take our knowledge back home."


The Royal New Zealand Navy's Maritime Component Commander, Commodore (CDRE) Jim Gilmour - who played a key role in RIMPAC, commanding the amphibious taskforce of 13 ships from the taskforce flagship USS America ­- said that is what RIMPAC is all about.

"RIMPAC helps participants foster and sustain the co-operative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world's oceans," CDRE Gilmour says.

"About 70 per cent of the world is water, 80 per cent of the world's population lives on or near a coast, and 90 per cent of international commerce moves by sea. Capable maritime forces help ensure stability and prosperity around the world, and RIMPAC helps participating nations develop these capabilities."

"Our role is to protect our interests at sea."