Berthoud native serving in the U.S. Navy as part of world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise
Seaman Jacob Sawdey is a boatswain’s mate aboard USS Chafee, currently operating out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
A Navy boatswain’s mate is responsible for conducting ship handling, anchoring, mooring and towing operations, underway replenishment, equipment maintenance and more.
Today, Sawdey uses skills and values similar to those learned in Berthoud.
“Growing up on a farm taught me hard work, and that carries over to life in the Navy,” said Sawdey.
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 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’m looking forward to working closely with other navies and being able to learn from them to make our own operations better, more efficient and safer,” said Sawdey.
Serving in the Navy means Sawdey 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 is important to national defense because we can monitor countries all around the world,” said Sawdey. “We’re the first line of defense for our nation.”
With more than 90 percent of all trade traveling by sea, and 95 percent of the world’s international phone and internet traffic carried through fiber 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, U.S. Pacific Fleet, RIMPAC 2022 will be led by Commander, U.S. 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 U.S. 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.
“I am most proud of getting through a deployment, seeing other countries and getting qualified in different watches and new parts of my job,” said Sawdey.
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 U.S. Navy, Sawdey and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.
“Serving in the Navy means being willing to give our lives before anyone else would have to sacrifice themselves,” added Sawdey. “It means being the first ones into the fight and the last ones out.”
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