The sailors and officers of HMAS Success have passed the half way mark of their RIMPAC 2014 experience, and so far, they have given the world’s largest naval exercise an excellent report card.
Success has an important role at RIMPAC, refuelling ships from the 22 participating Pacific Rim nations and allowing them to stay at sea and involved in the various exercise missions.
Leading Seaman Lucy Ricketts said RIMPAC was a career milestone for her, both personally and professionally.
“I have loved every minute of it. It has been my first RIMPAC and my first overseas deployment so it has been a big career highlight for me so far. I’ve loved it,” Leading Seaman Ricketts said.
Seaman Emma Radford said pulling into Pearl Harbor at the start of the exercise was particularly memorable.
“Seeing all the warships, the destroyers and the aircraft carriers, was pretty amazing. We pulled into Hawaii and battleship row was right there. Being a part of it was pretty cool,” Seaman Radford said.
The Ship’s Warrant Officer, Warrant Officer Deb Butterworth said RIMPAC was an excellent training environment for Success’s sailors and officers to learn best practices for operating in a coalition environment.
“This is my fourth RIMPAC. The thing that I take away from every RIMPAC is the ability to interact with other countries, and learn something about their cultures, the way they do business and pick the best of everyone’s practice in the maritime environment,” Warrant Officer Butterworth said
Lieutenant Michael Bonning, the Ship’s Doctor, said the opportunity to operate with so many different nations was what made RIMPAC a unique and valuable experience.
“Just getting your feet wet and doing it in an exercise setting, where you can take your time and move from those initial steps of integrating with other countries and then moving on to really working up to high level and highly specialised interactions is pretty good,” Lieutenant Bonning said.
Success will continue replenishing coalition warships as part of RIMPAC Refuelling Task Force 173 until the end of July.
RIMPAC will conclude on 1 August. The Australian Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment Ship will then return to Pearl Harbor for a few days before setting sail for home.
To watch the Ship's Company talk about their RIMPAC 2014 experiences, go to the Royal Australian Navy's YouTube page at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcMvFsosnS0&feature=youtu.be