PEARL HARBOR – A 2017 Scotlandville Magnet High School graduate and Baton Rouge, 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).
Seaman Apprentice Crystal Paul is a culinary specialist aboard USS Dewey, currently operating out of San Diego, California.
A Navy culinary specialist is responsible for cooking for the entire crew.
Paul said she applies the lessons she learned from Baton Rouge to her work in the Navy.
“I learned how to deal with different people and not to overreact to everything which helps me in the Navy every day,” said Paul.
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’m looking forward to meeting new people during this exercise,” said Paul.
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.
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, Paul and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.
“I never saw myself as a risk taker, but being here showed me that I am,” said Paul.
Additional information about RIMPAC is available at http://www.cpf.navy.mil
By Electa Berassa
Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class
Navy Office of Community Outreach
Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Theodore Quintana