She may have already spent five years in the Royal New Zealand Navy, but for 22-year-old Able Electronics Technician (AET) Justine Hoeta, being involved in Exercise Rimpac is a completely new experience.
As an electronics technician onboard HMNZS Te Kaha, Ms Hoeta's primary responsibility is to maintain the ship's weapon systems, in order to ensure they can function properly and on time. This was evident earlier in the exercise when HMNZS Te Kaha successfully fired a Seasparrow missile during the live firing phase.
"With so many nations and ships involved in the exercise, it was extremely important for us to demonstrate our fighting ability and I'm glad that I was part of that," the former Ruapehu College and City College student said.
While busy maintaining the ship's weapon systems, Ms Hoeta has managed to find some time to enjoy the benefits of Hawaii.
"One of the best things about being in the Navy is you get to travel and already I've had the chance to go surfing and diving during our time off."
Her interest in the Navy stemmed from her brother already being a leading marine technician in the Navy. Ms Hoeta, whose iwi is Atihaunui A Paparangi, said she was proud to share her heritage.
"As a member of the ship's kapa haka group, I really enjoy being able to demonstrate part of New Zealand culture," she said.
Twenty-two nations were participating in the exercises around the Hawaiian Islands, which ended yesterday.