El Cajon native participates in world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise

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PEARL HARBOR – A 2011 Granite Hills High School graduate and El Cajon, California, native is serving in the U.S. Navy as part of the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise, Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC).

Petty Officer 3rd Class Alexander Bowen is an aviation support equipment technician aboard USS Carl Vinson, currently operating out of San Diego.

A Navy aviation support equipment technician is responsible for maintaining and fixing all of the support equipment to help maintain aircraft.

PEARL HARBOR – A 2011 Granite Hills High School graduate and El Cajon, California, native is serving in the U.S. Navy as part of the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise, Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC).

Petty Officer 3rd Class Alexander Bowen is an aviation support equipment technician aboard USS Carl Vinson, currently operating out of San Diego.

A Navy aviation support equipment technician is responsible for maintaining and fixing all of the support equipment to help maintain aircraft.

Bowen said he applies the lessons he learned from El Cajon to his work in the Navy.

“Growing up, I had a strong work ethic and I don’t mind working hard to help ensure mission accomplishment,” said Bowen.

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 really want to see more of the island since this is my second time in Hawaii,” said Bowen. “I’m looking forward to exploring all of the great attractions the island has to offer.”

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. 

Exciting as RIMPAC is, Bowen said it comes second to his pinning ceremony.

“My most memorable moment in my Navy career was when my uncle pinned me during my air warfare qualification ceremony,” he said. “That meant a great deal to me.”

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

“I think everyone should serve in the military and I’m proud to do my part and give back to my country,” said Bowen.

Additional information about RIMPAC is available at http://www.cpf.navy.mil

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