SAN DIEGO – USS Antietam (CG 54) hosted 52 U.S. Naval Academy Midshipmen at Naval Station San Diego for the annual Professional Training of Midshipmen (PROTRAMID) surface warfare week June 2.
PROTRAMID is a program designed to expose Midshipmen entering their third year at the Naval Academy to the Navy’s surface community, aviation community and the U.S Marine Corps.
USS Antietam’s goal was to introduce the Midshipmen to typical operations aboard a naval surface ship, as well as to also give them the opportunity to ask the junior officers as well as the crew candid questions about life on a surface ship.
Midshipmen were introduced to Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) operations, damage control and firefighting techniques, bridge and combat functions and the layout of the engineering plant by Antietam Sailors.
“[We had] a lot of hands on experience,” said Midshipman Second Class Reginald Brooks. “I enjoyed talking to the enlisted and hearing what the junior officers had to say about their experiences.”
They were rotated through four different stations while on board. VBSS members conducted boarding training with them in the RHIB while damage control petty officers demonstrated fire fighting techniques and pipe patching skills. The quartermasters (navigation team) showed them how to plot the ship's course on the chart (map), as well as celestial navigation. The Antietam’s Main Propulsion Officer took all the Midshipmen inside a gas turbine engine module as well as a tour of the engineering plant on board.
The Midshipmen were also given the opportunity to enjoy lunch at the Naval Station San Diego galley with former Naval Academy graduates. Some of those alumni in attendance were Lt. j.g. Andy Dunfee, Ensign Mariellen Carnes and Ensign Kami Sakamoto.
“It was a great opportunity to spend the day with Midshipmen,” Dunfee said. “Answering their questions and sharing my experiences on board Antietam gave them a good idea of what to expect when they step foot on their first ship, if they choose to enter the surface community.”