By Navy Office Of Community Outreach
A 2013 Brandon High School graduate and Riverview native is serving in the U.S. Navy and participating in the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise, the Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC).
Petty Officer 3rd Class Joshua Ledauaponte is an operations specialist aboard USS San Diego, currently operating out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
A Navy operations specialist is responsible for surveying maritime ships in the area and alerting the captain to any threats.
“I’m looking forward to this experience and being able to travel,” said Ledauaponte.
According to Navy officials, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2016 is the 25th exercise in the series that began in 1971.
The theme of RIMPAC 2016 is “Capable, Adaptive, Partners,” Navy officials explained. The participating nations and forces will exercise a wide range of capabilities and demonstrate the inherent flexibility of maritime forces.
The Department of the Navy’s Great Green Fleet yearlong initiative will also play a major role in RIMPAC. The initiative highlights global operations using energy conservation measures and alternative fuel blends to demonstrate how optimizing energy use increases resiliency and operational readiness. During RIMPAC, almost all participating units will operate using an approved alternate-fuel blend.
Twenty-six nations, 45 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, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, People’s Republic of China, Peru, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Tonga, the United Kingdom and the United States.
“What I’ve learned about myself since joining the Navy is that I can push myself further and excel in new environments,” said Ledauaponte. “I’ve also witnessed how we can come together as a team.”
Visit www.cpf.navy.mil/rimpac/ for more information.