PEARL HARBOR – A 2017 Oakdale High School graduate is serving in the U.S. Navy as part of the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise, Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC).
Ensign Bella Cobarruvias is an auxiliaries officer aboard USS William P. Lawrence, currently operating out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
A Navy auxiliaries officer is responsible for working in engineering with the systems that keep shipboard life pleasant.
Today, Cobarruvias uses skills and values similar to those learned in Oakdale.
“Oakdale taught me a willingness to learn, how to accept criticism, growth and the importance of teamwork, and having a voice in the greater mission,” said Cobarruvias. “These things keep me motivated.”
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 the exercises we will be involved in while underway,” said Cobarruvias. “Working with the other navies and learning how they do things is important to me.”
Serving in the Navy means Cobarruvias 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.
“We protect the oceans for international commerce,” said Cobarruvias. “We offer aid to those countries in need, providing humanitarian relief and offer military protection for countries that need us.”
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.
“I’m most proud of being given the opportunity to lead my sailors and watch their careers grow,” said Cobarruvias.
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, Cobarruvias and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes.
“Serving in the Navy means stepping into the line of fire so others do not have to,” added Cobarruvias.
This article was contributed by Chief Mass Communication Specialist John Sorensen, Navy Office of Community Outreach.