Fort Lauderdale Native participates in World’s Largest International Maritime Warfare Exercise
By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Electa Berassa, Navy Office of Community Outreach
PEARL HARBOR – A 2015 Coral Glades High School graduate and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 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 Maleque Shaw is a gunner’s mate aboard USS Preble, currently operating out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
A gunner’s mate is responsible for the maintenance of the weapons on the ship and qualifying personnel on how to properly handle weapons.
Shaw applies the lessons he learned from Fort Lauderdale to his work in the Navy.
“Growing up in Fort Lauderdale, it was a rat race so you have to look forward to your career and help yourself out,” said Shaw. “My mom taught me to always focus on my 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 get to have face-to-face contact with people from other countries,” said Shaw. “I would like to see what the exercises are like.”
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’m most proud of my rate and all the history that comes with it,” said Shaw.
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, Shaw and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.
I’ve learned how to interact with people of different cultures and personalities since joining the Navy,” said Shaw.