KYLE – Ariel Torres, a 2020 Lehman High School graduate, is serving in the U.S. Navy as part of the world’s largest international warfare exercise – Rim of the Pacific.
Fireman Torres is an undesignated seaman aboard the USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110), which is currently operating out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. A Navy undesignated seaman is responsible for maintaining propulsion systems for the ship’s engineering department.
“My family instilled hard work and dedication into me, which has served me well so far in my career,” Torres said in a news release.
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 – this year’s exercise is the 28th in the series that started in 1971.
The theme of RIMPAC 2022 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 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.
“The warfare games being played during RIMPAC are extremely intricate,” Torres said. “They play a huge role in continuing to develop interoperability with our allies.”
Serving in the Navy means Torres is part of a team that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.
“The Navy provides a maritime presence that benefits both us and our allies,” Torres said. “What we do with presence and deterrence is essential for global commerce to operate unencumbered.”
With more than 90% of all trade traveling by sea and 95% of the world’s international phone and internet traffic carried through fiber optic cables lying on the ocean floor, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity and security of the United States are directly linked to a strong and ready Navy.
Four priorities will focus efforts on sailors, readiness, capabilities, and capacity, according to Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday.
“For 245 years, in both calm and rough waters, our Navy has stood the watch to protect the homeland, preserve freedom of the seas, and defend our way of life,” Gilday said. “The decisions and investments we make this decade will set the maritime balance of power for the rest of this century. We can accept nothing less than success.”
Hosted by Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, RIMPAC 2022 will be led by Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, who will serve as Combined Task Force (CTF) commander. Royal Canadian Navy Rear Adm. Christopher Robinson will serve as deputy commander of the CTF, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Rear Adm. Toshiyuki Hirata as the vice commander, and Fleet Marine Force will be led by U.S. Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Joseph Clearfield. Other key leaders of the multinational force will include Commodore Paul O’Grady of the Royal Australian Navy, who will command the maritime component, and Brig. Gen. Mark Goulden of the Royal Canadian Air Force, who will command the air component.
“Thus far, learning to be an adult and becoming financially independent has been the best part of joining the Navy,” Torres said.
During RIMPAC, a network of capable, adaptive partners train and operate together in order to strengthen their collective forces and promote a free and open Indo-Pacific. RIMPAC 2022 contributes to the increased interoperability, resiliency and agility needed by the Joint and Combined Force to deter and defeat aggression by major powers across all domains and levels of conflict.
As a member of the U.S. Navy, Torres and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy with the nation’s needs.
“Serving in the Navy means fighting for my family’s freedom,” Torres added.
Additional information about RIMPAC is available at http://www.cpf.navy.mil