PEARL HARBOR (Navy Office of Community Outreach) - A 2012 Oceans Springs High School graduate and Cheneyville, Louisiana, native is serving in the U.S. Navy as part of the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise, Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC).
Petty Officer 2nd Class Andrew Johnson is a fire controlman aboard USS John P. Murtha, currently operating out of San Diego.
A Navy fire controlman is responsible for self-defense of the ship.
Johnson applies the lessons he learned from Cheneyville to his work in the Navy.
“My parents taught me hard work,” said Johnson. “Because of this, I was able to rank up really fast.”
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 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, gunnery, missile, anti-submarine and air defense exercises, as well as amphibious, counter-piracy, mine clearance operations, explosive ordnance disposal and diving and salvage operations.
“I hope to gain new combat experience by interacting with other ships,” said Johnson.
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.
“I take pride in everything I do and was most proud of making second class petty officer in just three years,” said Johnson.
Twenty-six nations, 46 surface ships, five submarines, and 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, Johnson and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.
“I learned I can multitask better than I thought since joining the Navy,” said Johnson
Additional information about RIMPAC is available at http://www.cpf.navy.mil