Sanford Native Participates in World’s Largest International Maritime Warfare Exercise

aquel davis
Photo by Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Gary Ward

PEARL HARBOR – A 2010 Seminole High School graduate and Sanford, Florida, native is serving in the U.S. Navy as part of the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise, Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC).

Airman Aquel Davis is serving aboard USS Carl Vinson, currently operating out of San Diego.

Davis applies the lessons learned from Sanford to work in the Navy.

“Good manners and behavior will carry you through the world,” said Davis. “This mindset helped me to give respect and the golden rule of treating others the way you want to be treated. Also, I learned not to allow rank to dictate how you treat people.”

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 am looking forward to gaining some historical knowledge about Pearl Harbor,” said Davis.

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 am proud to have made it through boot camp because it was a lot for me,” said Davis.

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, Davis and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.

“I am the oldest of six,” said Davis. “I am able to set an example for my younger siblings. They look up to me, and it means a lot to set that example and to not let anything hold me back.”

Additional information about RIMPAC is available at