River­bank Sailor In RIMPAC Mar­itime Ex­er­cise

Riverbank News - - FRONT PAGE - Story by Mass Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Spe­cial­ist 2nd Class Theodore Quin­tana, Navy Of­fice of Com­mu­nity Out­reach; Photo by Se­nior Chief Mass Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Spe­cial­ist Gary Ward.

A 2009 River­bank High School grad­u­ate and River­bank, Cal­i­for­nia, na­tive is serv­ing in the U.S. Navy as part of the world’s largest in­ter­na­tional mar­itime war­fare ex­er­cise, Rim of the Pa­cific (RIMPAC).

Sea­man Austin Rice is a culi­nary spe­cial­ist aboard USS Wil­liam P. Lawrence, cur­rently op­er­at­ing out of Pearl Har­bor, Hawaii.

A Navy culi­nary spe­cial­ist is re­spon­si­ble for op­er­at­ing and man­ag­ing Navy messes and living quar­ters es­tab­lished to sub­sist and ac­com­mo­date Naval per­son­nel.

Rice ap­plies the lessons learned from River­bank to work­ing in the Navy.

“Es­sen­tially I learned the im­por­tance of hav­ing re­spect for peo­ple and to al­ways be re­spect­ful,” said Rice.

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. RIM- PAC 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, an­ti­sub­ma­rine and air de­fense ex­er­cises, as well as am­phibi­ous, counter-piracy, mine clear­ance op­er­a­tions, ex­plo­sive ord­nance dis­posal and div­ing and sal­vage op­er­a­tions.

“I can’t wait to meet the peo­ple from dif­fer­ent coun­tries and see­ing what life is like out­side the United States,” said Rice.

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 am proud that the Navy has given me the op­por­tu­nity to build a foun­da­tion for my­self and achieve my goals,” said Rice.

Twenty-six na­tions, 46 sur­face ships, five sub­marines, and more than 200 air­craft and 25,000 per­son­nel will par­tic­i­pate in the bien- nial 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, Rice and other sailors know they are part of a le­gacy that will last beyond their life­times pro­vid­ing the Navy the na­tion needs.

“Since join­ing the Navy I have learned that I can fol­low or­ders and I’m not afraid to han­dle num­bers for record keep­ing,” said Rice. “Serv­ing in the Navy means a sense of foun­da­tion and a means to ac­com­plish my dreams.”

Austin Rice, a 2009 River­bank High School grad­u­ate, is a culi­nary spe­cial­ist aboard USS Wil­liam P. Lawrence, cur­rently op­er­at­ing out of Pearl Har­bor, Hawaii and tak­ing part in the RIMPAC ex­er­cise.

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