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

Petty Officer 3rd Class Christopher Sladic. Photo by Sr. Chief Mass Communication Specialist Gary Ward

A 2013 James E. Taylor High School graduate and Katy 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 3rd Class Christopher Sladic is a sonar technician (surface) aboard USS William P. Lawrence, currently operating out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. A Navy sonar technician (surface) is responsible for operating surface sonar and other oceanographic systems.

Sladic applies the lessons learned from Katy to working in the Navy. “Growing up I learned the importance of respecting elders and maintaining polite manners everywhere you go,” said Sladic.

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 getting to meet new people from different navies and sharing experiences with one another,” said Sladic. “I am hoping to make new friends from different countries.”

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.

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, Sladic and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs. “I learned since joining the Navy that I am very determined and a lot more patient,” said Sladic. “Serving in the Navy gives me a purpose greater than myself and gives me a sense of fulfillment in what I do day-to-day.”

Additional information about RIMPAC is available at www.cpf.navy.mil.