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 2011 Boyd H. Anderson High School graduate and Fort Lauderdale, Florida native, Petty officer Mathew Allen is serving in the U.S. Navy as part of the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise, Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC).
Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew Allen is a machinery repairman aboard USS Carl Vinson, currently operating out of San Diego.
As a Navy machinery repaiman, he is responsible for repairing and fabricating tools for the ship. Anything that needs to be made or is broken, machinery repairmen take care of it.
Allen applies the lessons he learned from Fort Lauderdale to his work in the Navy.
“My parents taught me to be confident and stay true to who I am,” said Allen. “I carry myself in a respectable manner.”
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 mari-time forces. These capabitities range from disaster relief and maritime security operations to sea control and complex war-fighting. 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 am looking forward to meeting other countries’ navies,” said Allen. “I want to enjoy time with my shipmates and gain new experiences.”
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 to be able to go to Locksmith School,” said Allen. “It is a collateral school, and I can use the skills gained there back in my civilian job.”
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, Allen and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their life-times providing the Navy the nation needs.
“I have a very good gift of gab and can adapt to any conversation with different people,” said Allen. “I can communicate with people a lot better than before.”