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Corpus Christi native participates in world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise

Posted: 1:39 PM, Jul 12, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-12 14:39:00-04

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jackson Brown, Navy Office of Community Outreach

PEARL HARBOR – A 2016 Flour Bluff High School graduate and Corpus Christi, Texas, native is serving in the U.S. Navy as part of the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise known as the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC).

Petty Officer 3rd Class Peyton Smith is a damage controlman aboard USS William P. Lawrence, currently operating out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

A Navy damage controlman is responsible for performing maintenance on the ship’s firefighting equipment and ensuring preparedness for any fire, flooding, or medical casualties.

Smith is looking forward to applying the lessons learned from Corpus Christi to working in the Navy.

"I learned to treat others the way you would want to be treated, that helps me succeed in the Navy," said Smith. "I also learned the importance of making the best of what you have."

As the world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring safety at sea and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2018 is the 26th exercise in the series that began in 1971.

The theme of RIMPAC 2018 is "Capable, Adaptive, Partners." The participating nations and forces will exercise a wide range of capabilities and demonstrate the inherent flexibility of maritime forces. These capabilities range from disaster relief and maritime security operations to sea control and complex warfighting. The relevant, realistic training program includes amphibious operations, gunnery, missile, anti-submarine and air defense exercises, as well as counter-piracy, mine clearance operations, explosive ordnance disposal and diving and salvage operations.

"I’m looking forward to learning about the navies of the participating nations," said Smith. "I love learning about new cultures and the world around me."

This is the first time Israel, Sri Lanka and Vietnam are participating in RIMPAC. Additional firsts include New Zealand serving as sea combat commander and Chile serving as combined force maritime component commander. This is the first time a non-founding RIMPAC nation (Chile) will hold a component commander leadership position.

This year will also feature live firing of a Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) from a U.S. Air Force aircraft, surface to ship missiles by the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force, and a Naval Strike Missile (NSM) from a launcher on the back of a Palletized Load System (PLS) by the U.S. Army. This marks the first time a land based unit will participate in the live fire event during RIMPAC. RIMPAC 2018 will also include international band engagements and highlight fleet innovation during an Innovation Fair.

Twenty-six nations, 46 surface ships, five submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel will participate in the biennial Rim of the Pacific Exercise. This year’s exercise includes forces from Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tonga, the United Kingdom, the United States and Vietnam.

As a member of the U.S. Navy, Smith and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.

"I’ve learned a lot about life at sea as well as the value of the job that we do," said Smith. "Serving in the Navy means I get to give back to the country for all the freedoms we have."

Additional information about RIMPAC is available at http://www.cpf.navy.mil/