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A Goldey-Beacom College graduate supports Exercise Cutlass Express 2022

February 16, 2022

MILLINGTON, Tenn. – A 2016 Goldey-Beacom College graduate is serving with United States Naval Forces Europe-Africa (CNE-CNA) supporting Exercise Cutlass Express 2022 in Mombasa, Kenya.

Cutlass Express 2022 is an annual maritime exercise conducted to promote national and regional maritime security in East Africa and the Western Indian Ocean.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Rodney Jackson joined the Navy four years ago for three reasons.

“I joined the Navy to travel outside of Philadelphia,” said Jackson. “I wanted to try different things and see new things.”

Growing up, Jackson attended Kensington High School and graduated in 2010. Since joining the Navy, Jackson has taken the skills learned from education and those learned in the military to become the sailor he is today.

“I learned to be understanding that everyone comes from a different background,” said Jackson. “I also learned to treat everyone as if you were coming from their situation and be empathetic.”

According to Navy officials, maritime forces from East Africa, West Indian Ocean nations, Europe, North America, and several international organizations began the multinational maritime exercise Cutlass Express 2022 with an opening ceremony held at the Coast Guard Training Center in Djibouti, Feb. 6, 2022.

The exercise was sponsored by U.S. Africa Command and led by CNE-CNA/U.S. Sixth Fleet, assesses and improves combined maritime law enforcement capacity, promotes national and regional security in East Africa, and increases interoperability between the U.S., African nations, and international partners.

Exercise Cutlass Express 2022 will be linked with U.S. Naval Forces Central Command’s International Maritime Exercise, eliminating regional seams and increasing U.S. global capabilities and interoperability.

This year’s exercise leverages the recently adopted Jeddah Amendment to the Djibouti Code of Conduct, of which 14 nations are signatories, as a framework for exercising information sharing practices and enforcing marine rule of law. The participating nations will be testing their ability to detect or disrupt illicit trafficking, piracy, illegal fishing, as well as search and rescue situations.

There are many opportunities for sailors to achieve accomplishments during their military service.

“I am most proud of building positive relations and making sure different countries have the ability to defend themselves,” said Jackson. 

As a member of the U.S. Navy, Jackson, 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.

“Being in the Navy means selfless service,” added Jackson. “You put yourself out there have to know the results are not always going to be equal to the energy expended.”