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Loomis native participates in largest international maritime warfare exercise

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PEARL HARBOR – A 2014 Del Oro High School graduate and Loomis native is serving in the U.S. Navy as part of the largest international maritime warfare exercise, Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC).

Petty Officer 2nd Class Alec Irwin is an information systems technician aboard USS O'Kane, currently operating out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

A Navy information systems technician is responsible for external communications throughout the ship, which also includes radios and computers.

Irwin applies the lessons he learned from Loomis to his work in the Navy.

“I was really into computers growing up and I'm happy I was able to translate that experience to my career in the Navy,” Irwin said.

The Rim of the Pacific exercise provides a unique training opportunity to help participants foster and sustain cooperative relationships critical to ensuring safety at sea and security on the world’s oceans. Rim of the Pacific 2018 is the 26th exercise in the series that began in 1971.

This year’s theme is Capable, Adaptive, Partners. The participating nations and forces exercise a wide range of capabilities and demonstrate the inherent flexibility of maritime forces.

The 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.

“It's been really cool seeing Pearl Harbor packed with ships and all of the different militaries participating in the exercise,” Irwin said.

Twenty-six nations, 46 surface ships, five 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, 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, Irwin knows that he is part of a legacy helping his country.

“Serving in the Navy is doing something unselfishly for a cause or purpose greater than your own,” Irwin said.

For more information about Rim of the Pacific, visit http://www.cpf.navy.mil.