GPS grad takes part in World’s largest Navy warfare exercise

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Electa Berassa, Navy Office of Community Outreach
Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Theodore Quintana

PEARL HARBOR – A 2011 Girls Prepatory High School graduate and Chattanooga, Tennessee, native is serving in the U.S. Navy as part of the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise, Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC).

Lt. j.g. Natalie Miller is a damage control assistant officer aboard USS Dewey, currently operating out of San Diego.

A Navy damage control assistant officer is responsible for responding to any fire, flooding, or medical casualties on the ship as well as the training and qualifications of the damage control team.

Miller applies the lessons she learned from Chattanooga to her work in the Navy.

“The biggest quality is humility, especially in damage control,” said Miller. “You can never think that it won’t happen to you. You have to stay humble in a job like this and make sure it is instilled in your team as well.”

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 want to work with other countries who offer different perspectives to the overall mission,” said Miller. “Though you may see things differently with other navies, it is all more or less the same how we operate.”

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 of knowing I am a part of my sailors’ lives,” said Miller. “I believe I am influencing them, and they are a part of my life as well.”

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, Miller and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.

“In the Navy, I have learned it’s not about me,” said Miller. “I’m here for other people. I am serving people who are unable to serve or those who have gone before us.”

Categories: Local News, US & World News

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