By Petty Officer 1st Class Corwin Colbert
Sailors from the guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97) and the Royal Canadian Navy Halifax-class frigate HMCS Ottawa (FFH 341) kicked off the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise 2018 soccer tournament June 27 at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
The tournament runs though July 1 and allows servicemembers from different countries to build relations while participating in the world’s largest maritime exercise. Halsey Seaman Xavier Atkins called his first RIMPAC experience “amazing.”
“RIMPAC, personally, is a great opportunity for me to meet servicemembers from different countries,” he said. “This soccer game was a lot of fun.”
Ottawa quickly took charge, scoring a goal in the first few minutes. But Halsey fired back and tied it up midway through the first half.
During the second half of the friendly match, it was all Halsey, scoring four consecutive goals to close the game winning 5-1.
Master Seaman Courtney Edwards of HMCS Ottawa said she enjoyed the chance to meet Sailors from other nations, especially on the soccer field.
“This is my second RIMPAC,” she said. “It’s nice to play other countries in a game we all love.”
“We also had a good time with the Canadian team,” Atkins said. “I recommend anyone able to be involved in these type of relation-building activities to do so.”
Twenty-five nations, more than 45 ships and submarines, about 200 aircraft, and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC from June 27 to Aug. 2 in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity while fostering and sustaining cooperative relationships among participants critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security of the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2018 is the 26th exercise in the series that began in 1971.