A 2008 Royal Palm Beach High School graduate and Royal Palm Beach native is serving in the U.S. Navy and participating in the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise, the Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC).
Petty Officer 2nd Class Denise McHayle is an aviation boatswain’s mate aboard the USS San Diego, currently operating out of Pearl Harbor.
A Navy aviation boatswain’s mate is responsible for the jet fuel aboard the ship and ensuring the proper storage, receipt and cleanliness of all fuel and equipment used for refueling.
“I’m looking forward to the experience and being able to work with different countries, observing how they operate,” McHayle said.
RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain cooperative relationships that ensure the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans.
The theme of RIMPAC 2016 is “Capable, Adaptive, Partners.” The participating nations and forces will exercise a wide range of capabilities and demonstrate the inherent flexibility of maritime forces, including disaster relief and maritime security operations to sea control and complex warfighting. The program includes amphibious operations, gunnery, missile, anti-submarine and air defense exercises, as well as counter-piracy, mine clearance operations, explosive ordnance disposal and diving and salvage operations.
The Navy’s Great Green Fleet yearlong initiative will also play a major role and highlight global operations using energy conservation measures and alternative fuel blends to optimize energy use. During RIMPAC, almost all participating units will operate using an approved alternate-fuel blend.
Challenging living conditions build strong fellowship among the crew, McHayle explained. The crew is highly motivated and quickly adapts to changing conditions. It is a busy life of specialized work, watches and drills.
“I joined the Navy to go to college, travel and see the world,” McHayle said. “I’ve certainly had those opportunities.”
ABOVE: Denise McHayle