Jamaican participates in world's largest international maritime warfare exercise
Seaman Amadou Bah

A native of Jamaica is serving in the US Navy as part of the world's largest international maritime warfare exercise, Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC).

Seaman Amadou Bah is an undesignated seaman aboard USS William P Lawrence, currently operating out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

A navy undesignated seaman is responsible for maintaining the ship and its life-saving equipment.

Today, Bah uses skills and values similar to those learnt in Jamaica.

"My mother always taught me to work hard and keep pushing, even when I may be discouraged or encounter obstacles," said Bah.

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 2022 is the 28th exercise in the series that began in 1971.

The theme of RIMPAC 2022 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 programme includes gunnery, missile, anti-submarine and air defence exercises, as well as amphibious, counter-piracy, mine clearance operations, explosive ordnance disposal, and diving and salvage operations.

"The exercises are designed to enhance interoperability between partner nations," said Bah.

Serving in the navy means Bah is part of a team that is taking on new importance in America's focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances, and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.

"The navy provides a global presence at sea to maintain freedom of navigation," said Bah.

With more than 90 per cent of all trade travelling by sea, and 95 per cent of the world's international phone and Internet traffic carried through fibre optic cables lying on the ocean floor, navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity and security of the United States is directly linked to a strong and ready navy.

According to Chief of Naval Operations Adm Mike Gilday, four priorities will focus efforts on sailors, readiness, capabilities, and capacity.

"For 245 years, in both calm and rough waters, our navy has stood the watch to protect the homeland, preserve freedom of the seas, and defend our way of life," said Gilday. "The decisions and investments we make this decade will set the maritime balance of power for the rest of this century. We can accept nothing less than success."

Hosted by Commander US Pacific Fleet, RIMPAC 2022 will be led by Commander US 3rd Fleet, who will serve as Combined Task Force (CTF) commander. Royal Canadian Navy Rear Adm Christopher Robinson will serve as deputy commander of the CTF, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Rear Adm Toshiyuki Hirata as the vice-commander, and Fleet Marine Force will be led by US Marine Corps Brig Gen Joseph Clearfield. Other key leaders of the multinational force will include Commodore Paul O'Grady of the Royal Australian Navy, who will command the maritime component, and Brig Gen Mark Goulden of the Royal Canadian Air Force, who will command the air component.

"Since joining the navy I've enhanced my physical fitness and live a much healthier lifestyle," said Bah.

During RIMPAC, a network of capable, adaptive partners train and operate together in order to strengthen their collective forces and promote a free and open Indo-Pacific. RIMPAC 2022 contributes to the increased interoperability, resiliency, and agility needed by the joint and combined force to deter and defeat aggression by major powers across all domains and levels of conflict.

As a member of the US Navy, Bah and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes.

"Serving in the navy means opportunity to me," added Bah. "My parents are immigrants, and I aim to be an example of growth and the pursuit of greatness."

BY Jeffery Tilghman Williams Chief Mass Communication Specialist, Navy Office of Community Outreach

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