U.S.S. Kitty Hawk to retire

Justin Pascual
Justin Pascual
Nigel Greenwood
Nigel Greenwood

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

NIMITZ (KHNL) -- The Rim of the Pacific exercises hosts many throughout the world.  But one ship is making it its final voyage out at sea.

This is the last time you'll see the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk in action.

That's because it's retiring after this year's RIMPAC exercises.

For Moanalua's Justin Pascual, it's a historical journey that holds a special place in his heart.

"Knowing this is the biggest RIMPAC in history -- we're part of history right now -- this is a great ending to a ship that we're on, so real important and the highlight of my Navy career," said Justin Pascual, United States Navy.

For others, it's more than just an exercise.

"I think the biggest thing we have here is to be able to trust and confidence in each other's abilities, and we do that through the great facilities the U.S. Navy makes available to us here in Hawaii, their ops area, to execute a full range of warfare capabilities," said Nigel Greenwood, Royal Canadian Navy.

As an engineer on the ship, Pascual says it's easy to forget how important his job is.

"Oh it's very difficult. You have to get to know a lot of new people. Especially since I'm from Hawaii, you have to learn how to adjust and become good friends with them too, so I make a different type of family out here," said Pascual.

At first, his family wasn't all too happy with his decision to join the Navy.

"People real laid back. They gave me second thoughts. I said, 'I'm going to go to the Navy,' and they said, 'Really?' So it's a good step, different step, than what I was planning to do -- good choice, great choice," said Pascual.

It's a choice he and others hope brings a well-rounded range of experiences.

"The important thing for us about RIMPAC is that it really provides an unparalleled opportunity for these Navys to test critical war-fighting skills, but also to develop their capabilities to a multi-national cooperation," said Greenwood.

It's a cooperation that lasts a lifetime.

The RIMPAC exercises continue through the end of the month.  Ten nations are taking part in the 21st annual event.