Providence Native Participates in World’s Largest International Maritime Warfare Exercise
PEARL HARBOR – A 2009 Classical High School graduate and Providence, Rhode Island, 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 Ellen Sharkey is a mass communication specialist aboard USS Carl Vinson, currently operating out of San Diego.
A Navy mass communication specialist is responsible for telling the Navy’s story through various media forms.
Sharkey applies the lessons learned from Providence to working in the Navy.
“Before I joined the Navy I worked in a lot of leadership positions in the civilian world,” said Sharkey. “I bring those leadership and managing skills and apply it to my Navy career.”
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 really looking forward to meeting new people and interacting with the diverse countries that are here,” said Sharkey. “I really hope to expand my skill sets while I’m here, especially in my rate.”
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, Sharkey and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.
“In the Navy I have learned how to lead my peers which was something that I found really difficult at first,” said Sharkey. “Serving in the Navy allows me to serve my country. The opportunities that the Navy offers is incomparable to the things you can get in the civilian world, it has enriched my life.”
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Theodore Quintana, Navy Office of Community Outreach Photo by Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Gary Ward