DARIEN, Conn. -- Berlin Martinezrivera, a 2013 Darien High School graduate, has been serving as a Machinist's Mate Fireman Apprentice in the U.S. Navy for one year.
Martinezrivera is serving her first deployment aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu. The daughter of Otto Martinez and Elcedia Rivera, Martinezrivera was born in Guatemala and credits moving to the United States with helping her achieve her goals.
"When I was younger living in Guatemala I had no one to look up to," Martinezrivera said. "Many people did not know how to read or write and were working at a young age instead of attending school."
Martinezrivera said her favorite aspect of the Navy is getting the opportunity to travel around the world. "I love being able to try different foods and learn about various cultures," Martinezrivera said. "Getting to pull in to new ports provides us something not everybody does or gets to do."
Since deploying in mid-June, the USS Peleliu has participated in Rim of the Pacific Exercise 2014. Twenty-two nations, 49 ships, six submarines and more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel participated in the RIMPAC exercise from June 26 to Aug. 1 in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California.
The Peleliu is the lead ship in the Peleliu Expeditionary Strike Group, commanded by Rear Adm. Hugh Wetherald. It most recently completed Amphibious Landing Exercise 2015. PHIBLEX 15 is an annual, bilateral training exercise conducted by the Armed Forces of the Philippines, U.S. Marines and U.S. Navy to strengthen the ability of separate forces to work together across a range of capabilities that include disaster relief and contingency operations.
The Peleliu is on its final regularly scheduled Western Pacific deployment in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility. It is supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region before being decommissioned early next year.
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