A 2008 Grand Haven High School graduate and Charleston, South Carolina, native is serving in the U.S. Navy as part of the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise, Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC).

Petty Officer 2nd Class Clinton Cox is a cryptological technician (collection) aboard USS John P. Murtha, currently operating out of San Diego.

A Navy cryptological technician (collection) is responsible for operating state-of-the-art radars and computers that help protect the ship from possible threats.

Cox applies the lessons he learned from Charleston to his work in the Navy.

“Being punctual and following orders to ensure each mission is completed successfully is important,” said Cox.

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 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 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 with other countries and their militaries in a joint environment to accomplish the same goal,” said Cox.

This is the first time Israel, Sri Lanka and Vietnam are participating in RIMPAC. Additional firsts include New Zealand serving as sea combat commander and Chile serving as combined force maritime component commander. This is the first time a non-founding RIMPAC nation (Chile) will hold a component commander leadership position.

“I’m proud of being a plank owner on the USS John P. Murtha and taking it from a precommisioning unit to a fully functioning ship,” said Cox.

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. This year's exercise includes forces from Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tonga, the United Kingdom, the United States and Vietnam.

As a member of the U.S. Navy, Cox 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 always putting the mission first no matter how tough things can get,” said Cox. “Knowing we're making a difference through our efforts means a lot to me.”

Additional information about RIMPAC is available at