A 2012 Park Vista High School graduate and Loxahatchee 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 3rd Class Justin Fox is a damage controlman aboard USS William P. Lawrence, currently operating out of Pearl Harbor.
A damage controlman is responsible for all installed and portable damage control equipment, and also provides at-sea firefighting capability. “I’m looking forward to the communication and cooperation between the different navies,” Fox said.
RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2016 is the 25th exercise in the series that began in 1971.
The participating nations and forces will 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 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 Department of the Navy’s Great Green Fleet yearlong initiative will also play a major role in RIMPAC. The initiative highlights global operations using energy conservation measures and alternative fuel blends to demonstrate how optimizing energy use increases resiliency and operational readiness. During RIMPAC, almost all participating units will operate using an approved alternate-fuel blend.
Twenty-six nations, 45 surface ships, 5 submarines, 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, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the People’s Republic of China, Peru, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Tonga, the United Kingdom and the United States.
“We’ve conducted exercises with many foreign navies, and this pulls it all together,” said Cmdr. Walter C. Mainor, the commanding officer aboard USS William P. Lawrence. “The average age onboard is 25, and the expectations we have for them are so great. They just continue to exceed them.”
Fox enjoys his role on the ship.
“I love the people I work with,” he said. “I love my job. All of the people in my shop are excellent to work with.”
ABOVE: Justin Fox aboard the USS William P. Lawrence.