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Spanske participates in Navy’s ‘RIMPAC’


Seaman Alvin Spanske, a 2013 Almont High School graduate and Almont native is serving in the U.S. Navy and is participating in the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise, the Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC).

Spanske is an information systems technician aboard USS San Diego, currently operating out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

A Navy information systems technician is responsible for maintaining communications circuits aboard the ship.

“I look forward to experiencing the interaction with the other nations during RIMPAC,” said Spanske.

According to Navy officials, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2016 is the 25th exercise in the series that began in 1971.

The theme of RIMPAC 2016 is “Capable, Adaptive, Partners,” Navy officials explained. 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.

The Department of the Navy’s Great Green Fleet yearlong initiative will also play a major role in RIMPAC. The initiative highlights global operations using energy conservation measures and alternative fuel blends to demonstrate how optimizing energy use increases resiliency and operational readiness. During RIMPAC, almost all participating units will operate using an approved alternate-fuel blend.

Twenty-six nations, 45 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, 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.

“This is the first ship I’ve been assigned to and it has been great getting to know so many people aboard,” said Spanske.

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

“I continue to look forward to interacting with those around me,” said Spanske. “This is an exceptional mentoring program. The sailors in my work center make sure I master new skills routinely.”

Additional information about Rim of the Pacific Exercise is available at www.cpf.navy.mil/rimpac/.
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