PEARL HARBOR, HI – He will be one of 25,000 people representing 26 nations, operating 45 ships, 5 submarines and 200 aircraft.

2001 Arthur L. Johnson High School graduate and Garwood, New Jersey native Lt. j.g. Phillip Pasquariello is participating in the 2016 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) international maritime warfare exercise.

Pasquariello, an air division officer in the United States Navy is stationed aboard the USS San Diego, currently operating out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. As part of his duties, Pasquariello serves as a ship driver and also handles day to day management of personnel and equipment in for the ship’s air department.

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“I like the fact that the ship is a multi-faceted platform and our bridge is always very busy,” said Pasquariello. "We can do flight deck operations, amphibious operations, small boat and more.”

Challenging living conditions build strong fellowship among the crew, Pasquariello explained. The crew is highly motivated, and quickly adapt to changing conditions. It is a busy life of specialized work, watches, and drills, he said.

“I've learned how to extend my limits and expand my knowledge base to a whole new realm of naval warfare,” said Pasquariello.

RIMPAC is a biennial training exercise designed to create cooperative relationships among participants. The goal is to ensure the safety of sea lanes and overall security on the oceans, according to a statement issued by the Navy Office of Community Outreach.

Member nations will demonstrate capabilities ranging from disaster relief and maritime security operations to sea control and complex warfighting. The training program encompasses such activities as:

  • amphibious operations
  • gunnery, missile, anti-submarine and air defense exercises
  • counter-piracy operations
  • mine clearance operations
  • explosive ordnance disposal
  • diving and salvage operations

“I'm looking forward to building our international relationship to drive towards the next stage of Naval evolution whether it is warfare, technology or inter-agent operations,” Pasquariello said.  

Forces representing the following nations will participate in the training exercises:  Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, People's Republic of China, Peru, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Tonga, the United Kingdom and the United States.

“This is a great opportunity for us to come together as a team within the ship doing the mission the nation expects us to be able to accomplish,” said Capt. Carl Meuser, commanding officer aboard USS San Diego. “I enjoy leading young sailors and watching them develop, and not just as sailors, but as young men and women. RIMPAC has tremendous resources to support all of the platforms involved.  Cruisers and destroyers will be shooting weapons, the air wing has evolutions going on and the Marines are out with us conducting amphibious operations.”