I’ve been very fortunate to be invited to participate in RIMPAC Exercises in the past. In 2010 the most exciting thing I got to do was fly out to the USS Ronald Reagan Aircraft Carrier and have lunch, tour the ship and meet the Commander.
When they catapulted me off the buggah, the velocity of the thrust off the carrier made me feel like I had left my stomach back on the ship!
This past year I got to do several cool things like take a LCAC Military Sealift Hovercraft out to the USS Essex.
That was a trip as a sailor actually fell overboard while I was on the trip!
My most memorable trip in 2012 was getting flown out to the USNS Mercy by helicopter and “Manning the Rails” of the Mercy as she returned home from the 2012 Pacific Partnership.
That was special because that was the second time I had visited the Mercy… the first time it was already in port.
Well I just learned today… That CHINA is going to be participating in the 2014 RIMPAC Exercises!!!
“I am pleased our two Navies conducted a successful counter-piracy exercise in September, and we welcome China’s participation in the Rim of the Pacific exercise in 2014. These kinds of opportunities are invaluable when it comes to building trust between our two Navies.” – Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus in Beijing
*Cough* I’d love to the first US Civilian aboard a Chinese Navy Ship!