PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (KHON2) — The Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise is ongoing and the public had a chance to step aboard floating fortresses from around the world.
Saturday was Open Ship Day at Pearl Harbor, where hundreds turned out to get a chance to tour vessels from South Korea, the United States, India, Mexico and more.
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“So, we really are excited to be part of the most, or the biggest exercise in the world,” said Cmdr. Juan Carlos Ibarra Hernandez, commanding officer of Mexico’s BRP Antonio Luna.
The crew of the BRP Antonio Luna — named after the late general from the Philippines — even let the public inside a military helicopter while they were on board for photos.
It was not just the ships that folks were excited about; There was also food. Mexico and the Philippines both brought a little flavor from home — one local boy told KHON2 that it was his favorite part of the day.
“I really like the — the snacks,” Jared Cacpal said.
“I’ve never been on a battleship before, it was a fun experience,” said Jared’s brother, Julian. “My favorite part is where we went up the ship and saw the turret.”
Perhaps the most impressive ship — and certainly the one with the longest line — was the USS Michael Monsoor, named after a United States Navy SEAL who threw himself on top of a grenade in Iraq to save three fellow SEALs.
The RIMPAC exercise is designed to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific region, bringing nations together to show support for keeping shipping lanes and international waters safe.
Though those on board have been trained to kill, the captain of the BRP Antonio Luna said his crew is happy to get some downtime while they are in the islands.
“And I would say that the ship’s crew is into shopping,” Capt. Charles Villanueva said, “because a lot of them are looking forward to buying inexpensive electronics at Navy Exchange, but then again sir, it’s always a pleasure to visit the tourist spots and the environment in Hawaii and it offers a lot, similar to the Philippines, also.”