Nelson sailor Leading Seaman Combat Specialist (LSCS) Sunni Parkin is in the New Zealand frigate Endeavour during the world's largest maritime exercise.
More than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel from 22 nations are participating in the RIMPAC exercise in and around the Hawaiian Islands.
A former Nayland College student, LSCS Parkin joined the Royal New Zealand Navy in 2004, and his duties on the navy's fleet replenishment frigate are varied.
"As a combat specialist I am required to undertake seamanship duties like berthing, slipping and driving, but I am also expected to conduct refuelling of other vessels, undertake security boarding tasks and conduct small boat driving. Every day offers something different, and the variety of the job is what makes it so enjoyable."
During his time with the navy, he has gained his civilian boat master qualification, and will next complete his inshore launch master qualification.
He considers his time in Hawaii to be a highlight of his career to date. "For a former navy gunner in Canterbury, being able to visit the USS Missouri in Pearl Harbour is a once in a lifetime opportunity and something that will stick with me for a long time."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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