By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Theodore Quintana
Seaman Apprentice Joan Beatos, a native of Riverview, is participating in the Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) exercise with 18 other nations.
“During BALTOPS you have to make sure all of the operations are logged in the deck log and every flag that needs to be flown is up,” said Beatos. “I am going to be assisting in navigation during the exercise.”
BALTOPS 2019 took place from June 8-21 and included sea, air and land assets. The multinational exercise provided a unique training opportunity that fosters cooperative relationships critical to ensuring safety at sea and security on the world’s interconnected oceans.
According to U.S. Navy officials, it is designed to improve training value for participants, enhance flexibility and interoperability and demonstrate resolve among allied and partner forces in defending the Baltic Sea region.
Allied nations with ships and forces participating in BALTOPS 2019 include Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States. NATO partner nations Finland and Sweden also participated.
Beatos is a quartermaster serving aboard USS Gravely, which is an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer homeported in Norfolk, VA.
Beatos credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned growing up in Riverview.
“Growing up I learned the importance of respect and everything is not going to be the way you like it, so you have to adjust,” said Beatos.
Serving in the Navy means Beatos is part of a world that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.
Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community and career, Beatos is most proud of receiving the enlisted surface pin.
“I am proud that I can actually stand a lot of watches by myself in such little time of me being on board,” said Beatos.
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Beatos and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes contributing to the Navy the nation needs.
“Serving in the Navy means I get to help my people,” said Beatos. “It makes me feel like I am doing something good for my country and keeping my country safe by giving my time.”