A Filipina from Iloilo City is serving in the U.S. Navy Rim of the Pacific’s (RIMPAC) world’s largest international maritime exercise.

Petty Officer 1st Class Alyssa Ashley Llorente Gupiteo who graduated from Central Philippine University in Iloilo City serves as a hospital corpsman aboard USS Essex (LHD 2), currently operating at San Diego, California.

She is tasked to take care of the health of sailors and teaching them first-aid.

“I am responsible for the care and health of sailors, not only because I am a corpsman, but because of who I am and where I came from, and it might be cheesy for other people but I have a heart to help anyone,” Gupiteo said.

Serving with instilled Filipino

For Gupiteo, the values required to succeed in the Navy are similar to those she learned in her hometown in Iloilo City.

“I learned to be kind, respectful and to be positive, and always smiling no matter how big and scary the storms that you are in and will be facing,” Gupiteo said.

“I also learned to remind ourselves that we’re not the only one who have problems at work or in life, that we can help other people and not be selfish,” she added.

World’s largest international maritime exercise

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 2020 is the 27th exercise in the series that began in 1971. The theme is Capable, Adaptive, Partners. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, RIMPAC 2020 is an at-sea only exercise.

Ten nations, 22 surface ships, and one submarine, and approximately 5,300 personnel are scheduled to participate. This year’s exercise will include units or personnel from Australia, Brunei, Canada, France, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, and the United States.

Participating forces exercise a wide range of capabilities during RIMPAC, demonstrating the inherent flexibility of maritime forces. This year’s exercise will include multinational anti-submarine warfare, maritime-intercept operations, and live-fire training events, among other cooperative training opportunities.

“I am most looking forward to operating and training together while also learning about other cultures and traditions,” said Gupiteo. “It will also bring us closer to sailors aboard the ship to teach them and work as a team.”

“While we may be able to surge ships and people, we cannot surge trust,” said U.S. Third Fleet Commander Vice Adm. Scott Conn.

“This formidable team will spend the next two weeks forging relationships and strengthening bonds through a series of events designed to improve our ability to operate together,” Conn said.

“The work we will do here will make us all more capable and adaptive, and ready to face any challenge or crisis together, whether man-made or a natural disaster,” Conn said.

Proud to be Filipina

Though there are many opportunities for sailors to earn recognition in their command, community and careers, Gupieto is most proud of being her parent’s daughter.

“Without them, I wouldn’t be here,” said Gupiteo.

“I am the fruit of their success and I will continue to do great things. To see my papa and mama happy and enjoying life is what I live for, and I will do everything to make them happy and proud.”

As a member of the U.S. Navy, Gupiteo, as well as other sailors, know they are a part of a service tradition providing unforgettable experiences through leadership development, world affairs and humanitarian assistance. Their efforts will have a lasting effect around the globe and for generations of sailors who will follow.

“I am honored to wear this uniform and represent this awesome country,” Gupiteo said.

“The U.S. Navy gave me freedom, offered my family their American dream and experience to learn about people and cultures. The Navy gave me so much more than what I can offer and for that, I will continue to serve and support the Navy and sailor,.” Gupiteo said. (Source and photo credit: US Navy Outreach)