Yucaipa graduate serves in U.S. Navy maritime warfare exercises

Adrian Gonzales photo by Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Gary Ward.

A 2015 Yucaipa High School graduate and Yucaipa, California, native is serving in the U.S. Navy as part of the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise known as the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC).

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

A Navy information systems technician is responsible for maintaining the ship’s servers, and ensuring the ship's network equipment is operational.

Gonzales is looking forward to applying the lessons learned from Yucaipa to working in the Navy.

“I learned the importance of doing things right the first time, and with a purpose,” said Gonzales. “It’s also helped me to be well organized.”

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,” according to Navy officials. 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.

“I'm looking forward to seeing how all the other ships will work together,” said Gonzales. "It's great to be able to meet so many new people from the participating nations.”

This is the first time Brazil, 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.

This year will also feature live firing of a Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) from a U.S. Air Force aircraft, surface to ship missiles by the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force, and a Naval Strike Missile (NSM) from a launcher on the back of a Palletized Load System (PLS) by the U.S. Army.

As a member of the U.S. Navy, Gonzales and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.

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