Exercise Rim of the Pacific 2010 (RIMPAC) illustrated air component capabilities to prominent local bloggers of Hawaii during mission scenarios on July 16, on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.
Thirteen social media gurus watched as two C-17 Globemaster III aircraft from the 535th Airlift Squadron, 15th Air Wing, dropped real world and simulated cargo to Marines from Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay on the Big Island of Hawaii as part of RIMPAC scenarios July 16.
RIMPAC, a biennial exercise in its 22nd year, stresses interoperability of all partner nations as a key element of regional stability. As a result of the long success of the exercise, there are 14 nations, 32 ships, five submarines, more than 170 aircraft and 20,000 personnel involved.
Pacific Air Force is more involved in this year's RIMPAC than any time in the past, and took this opportunity to invite some social media bloggers to witness some of the capabilities that PACAF has to offer. For many of the members of the blogosphere, this was their first time to actually ride aboard a C-17 or witness an airdrop first-hand.
“It was simply amazing,” said Damon Tucker, a blogger with the „From the Big Island Blogger. “When the back door opened up and we saw the F-16's, I was like “Whoa! Combat situation,” added Mr. Tucker.
In this new age of communication, Twitter, Facebook and other popular daily blogs are the leaders in the way people do business and communicate. PACAF chose to show their capabilities to a select group of talented bloggers in an effort to highlight their mission and achievements.
Not everyone is up to speed with the social media craze, but many are learning, including 535th AS Commander, Lt. Col. Andrew J. Leshikar.
“RIMPAC has been a great training exercise for us,” said Leshikar.
“Being part of what is called 'the non-digital age', I'm not really good at this (social media) stuff," said Leshikar. "Blogging is another form of communication, and it allows us the opportunity to reach a different audience and maybe a bit younger audience," added the Colonel. “It's great that this group could come in and learn something about what we do."
Some of the bloggers wished they were young enough to join the Air Force.
“If I wasn't already 40 years old, I would join because watching those planes gives you a rush," added Mr. Tucker.