By MC2 Jackson Brown, Navy Office of Community Outreach
A 2014 Belton High School graduate and Belton, Texas, 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 Salina Rutherford is a hospital corpsman aboard USS John P. Murtha, currently operating out of San Diego.
A Navy hospital corpsman is responsible for controlling appointments and scheduling, as well as patient care for the dental office on board the ship.
Rutherford is looking forward to applying the lessons learned from Belton to working in the Navy.
“I learned to treat others the way you want to be treated, and that helps me succeed in the Navy,” said Rutherford.
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 meeting people from different cultures and learning more about them,” said Rutherford.
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.
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. This marks the first time a land based unit will participate in the live fire event during RIMPAC. RIMPAC 2018 will also include international band engagements and highlight fleet innovation during an Innovation Fair.
“I’m very proud of being able to make rank as quickly as I have,” said Rutherford. “I get a lot of satisfaction out of my job, so being able to advance within is amazing.”
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, Brazil, 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, Rutherford and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.
“I’ve learned that I’m a very independent person, and the Navy has also shown me that I have resilience,” said Rutherford. “Serving in the Navy means I get to honor those who have sacrificed so much for us by taking their place. I get to serve my country and represent those I love.”
Additional information about RIMPAC is available at http://www.cpf.navy.mil