By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Electa Berassa, Navy Office of Community Outreach
Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Senior Chief Gary Ward
A 2011 Greenville High School graduate and Pocahontas, Illinois native is serving in the U.S. Navy as part of the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise, Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC).
Petty Officer 2nd Class Wane Debatin is a hull technician aboard USS Lake Champlain, currently operating out of San Diego, California.
A Navy hull technician is responsible for plumbing and welding and the repair and maintenance of the ship’s hull. They also are responsible for the maintenance of the water systems for shipboard firefighting.
Debatin applies the lessons he learned from Pocahontas to his work in the Navy.
“I learned the value of hard work,” said Debatin.
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 hope to gain engineering qualifications while underway,” said Debatin.
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.
“I made petty officer second class and I’m a part of the duty department,” said Debatin. “I’m also proud to have achieved both warfare pins while out to sea.”
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, Debatin and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.
“I learned from being in the Navy to be more assertive and voice my opinion,” said Debatin. “You cut through the malarky and get straight to the bare minimum of what needs to be done.”
Additional information about RIMPAC is available at http://www.cpf.navy.mil