PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (NNS) -- The aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) and embarked elements of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11 arrived in Pearl Harbor July 2 for a port visit.
This brief visit will provide Nimitz Sailors and embarked Marines attached to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 323 an opportunity to experience the local culture of Hawaii and participate in several exchanges in the local community.
"This is a unique opportunity for the Sailors and Marines aboard Nimitz to experience the culture of Hawaii," said Capt. Jeff S. Ruth, Nimitz commanding officer. "The crew has worked very hard since the ship has come out of the yards and they deserve some time before we begin our participation in RIMPAC (Rim of the Pacific)."
The crew will have the opportunity to experience Hawaiian culture through several tours offered by the ship's Morale, Welfare and Recreation department such as snorkeling, luaus and guided-tours of the USS Arizona memorial and USS Missouri museum.
"This is my first time to Hawaii," said Seaman Roberto Perezesquivel. "I look forward to going camping, kayaking, four-wheeling, anywhere the wind takes me."
Nimitz is currently underway with Carrier Strike Group 11 participating in RIMPAC 2012 with other nations.
"We share many maritime common interests and seafaring traditions with these participating nations," said Ruth. "This exercise will afford us the opportunity to strengthen our bonds and exchange our warfighting and maritime security capabilities."
Twenty-two nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC exercise from Jun. 29 to Aug. 3, in and around the Hawaiian Islands. The world's largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world's oceans. RIMPAC 2012 is the 23rd exercise in the series that began in 1971.
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