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Friday, December 15, 2000

Sailor trains to provides stability in the Pacific


Since training is to the U.S. Navy what location is to the real estate market, Sailors like Pecos' Jason S. Chabarria spend many hours at sea honing their skills to increase their value to our nation's defense policy.

Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Chabarria, the 21-year-old son of Robert and Linda Chabarria of Pecos, recently completed 55 days on board the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) in the Sea of Japan, participating in three separate exercises with military forces of South Korea and Japan.

The centerpiece of the U.S. 7th Fleet forward deployed in Yokosuka, Japan, Kitty Hawk is nearly three football fields long, 24 stories high, and maintains an arsenal of more than 75 warplanes.

Chabarria, a disbursing clerk, assists with the management of the payroll for crewmembers.

Chabarria's skills, when combined with those of his 4,800 fellow crewmembers, are necessary to ensure the success of Kitty Hawk's mission of providing power projection in defense of U.S. interests abroad.

The three exercises Kitty Hawk recently participated in, Foal Eagle, Annual Exercise (ANNUALEX) 12G, and Keen Sword were designed to train Navy and Marine Corps forces of the U.S. 7th Fleet to help defend our allies and provide stability in the Pacific region. Chabarria understands the importance of these training exercises.

"I think these exercises are important because we get familiarized with working with other countries in case something happens," said Chabarria, a 1997 graduate of Pecos High School.

The U.S. maintains a continuous, ready, forward presence in this region as a fast-reaction force in the event of crisis in the Pacific Ocean or in the Persian Gulf.

During the 39th annual Foal Eagle exercise, Kitty Hawk and approximately 20,000 other U.S. Navy and Marine personnel trained while improving readiness and interoperability with Republic of Korea allies. Training includes a wide range of air, surface, subsurface, and amphibious operations.

After eight days of intense training with the South Korean military, Kitty Hawk had the opportunity to visit Pusan, Korea, for rest, relaxation, and holiday shopping. Frequent port visits to foreign ports are one of many rewards Sailors discovered while serving on forward-deployed ships.

"I love being overseas. I like going to sea a lot and hitting different ports and experiencing different cultures. In my short career, I've seen more countries and done so much that people will never do their whole lives. Also, we get paid more being overseas," said Chabarria.

Leaving Pusan brought on the next phase of the flight operations and exercises. ANNUALEX 12G and Exercise Keen Sword redirected the focus of elements of the U.S. 7th Fleet to the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF).

More than 8,000 Navy and Marine Corps personnel trained with the JMSDF to hone their collective interoperability, defend Japan against maritime threats, and improve the battle group's capability for sea and air defense.

Constant training is not only designed to build stronger forces, it is also designed to build more focused Sailors. Understanding the importance of setting goals can help Sailors prepare for their careers inside and outside the Navy. Chabarria has learned to set goals for his own future.

"My goals while I'm in the Navy are to become as qualified as I can in everything and make rank in the first time I'm up for it. After the Navy, I plan to finish my degree and become a successful accountant," said Chabarria, a two-year Navy veteran.

Focused and trained, Chabarria and his Kitty Hawk shipmates will continue their 24-hour on-call watch, forward deployed to Japan, ready to respond to a crisis and sail into harm's way when directed by the president.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
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