A 2013 Klein 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), based at Pearl Harbor.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Dalton Sparks is a boatswain's mate aboard USS Dewey, currently operating out of San Diego. A Navy boatswain's mate is responsible for search and rescue missions, small boat operations and refueling the ship at sea, dropping anchor and driving the ship.
Sparks applies the lessons he learned from Houston to his work in the Navy.
“I learned respect from growing up in Houston,” said Sparks. “Everyone back home is neighborly and I've kept that mentality. It has helped me progress further in a positive manner.”
As the world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a 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 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 camaraderie with the sailors of other countries, meeting new people and embracing their cultures,” said Sparks. “I also enjoy how tropical it is here, and I hope to enjoy Hawaii in the summer.”
“I saved three personnel in a helicopter crash off the coast during a deployment in 2017, which is my proudest moment in the Navy.” said Sparks.
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.