PEARL HARBOR – A 2016 North Point High School graduate and Bryans Road, Maryland, native is serving in the U.S. Navy as part of the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise, Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC).

Airman Dexter Johnson is an aviation ordnanceman attached to Strike Fighter Squadron 137, currently operating out of Lemoore, California.

A Navy aviation ordnanceman is responsible for taking care of the weapons systems on the F/A-18E “Super Hornet”.

Johnson applies the lessons learned from Bryans Road to working in the Navy.

“I learned to respect others while growing up,” said Johnson. “It pays off in the Navy to be humble and carry yourself with pride.”

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’m looking forward to experiencing new cultures and experiencing Hawaii,” said Johnson. “It’s my first time being here so I’m excited to see Hawaii.”

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.

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

“The Navy has shown me that I’m a good leader,” said Johnson. “Serving in the Navy means I get to be a part of something bigger than myself. It’s proof that the American dream is possible.”

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

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jackson Brown, Navy Office of Community Outreach

Photo by Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Gary Ward