San Diego – Over one-hundred Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) Midshipmen kicked off the final week of their summer training program by riding the waves with the Coronado-based Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 1 Monday, August 2.
ACU 1 works in conjunction with Beach Master Unit (BMU) 1 and Amphibious Construction Battalion (ACB) 1, under the umbrella command Naval Beach Group (NBG) 1. Monday’s exercise, a training opportunity for both the Midshipmen and NBG 1, gave Midshipmen the opportunity to participate in a noncombatant evacuation operation (NEO) and ride in a 135-foot long Landing Craft Unit (LCU).
“The ride was a great start to surface week,” said Midshipman Third Class Monica Stark, a sophomore at University of Pennsylvania. “It was really cool - I had no idea that this was a part of Surface Warfare.”
The Midshipmen spent the morning with the various elements of Beach Group 1, departing ACU 1 by LCU and disembarking directly onto ‘Green Beach Two’, the landing zone on Coronado beach. This week marks the last of a series of eight, weeklong training sessions provided to west-coast based Naval Academy and NROTC Midshipmen by the U.S. Surface Forces, Pacific (SURFPAC).
“This week’s about showing you a potential glimpse of your future in the surface warfare community," said Cmdr. Todd Perry, Commanding Officer, BMU 1, addressing the Midshipmen upon their arrival on Green Beach Two. "One of you may be standing where I’m standing twenty years from now."
Summer training emphasizes fleet education by introducing Midshipmen to the missions and requirements of the Navy’s primary warfare communities, reinforcing lessons learned during the academic year with actual operational experience.
“I’m really looking forward to Surface Warfare week,” said Midshipman Third Class Robert Dumke, a sophomore at University of Wisconsin-Madison. “This whole summer has been really eye-opening, and after this morning, I can’t wait to see what else this week has in store for us.”
The Midshipmen will return to the San Diego waterfront to try out some of the Navy's newest and most advanced training opportunities. During the span of a week, Midshipmen will drive ships during multiple classes at the Navigation, Seamanship and Ship-handling Trainer, a state of the art bridge simulator used to train ship crews in navigation and ship handling through three-dimensional virtual technology. They will man the simulated bridge of a littoral combat ship (LCS) in the brand new LCS Shore Based Technical Trainer, a remarkable replica of the complete bridges of USS Freedom (LCS 1) and USS Independence (LCS 2). The week will also include fully interactive trainers, covering visit, board, search and seizure, firefighting and damage control, and draw to a close with a live fire crew-served weapons exercise.
Nearly 1,000 Midshipmen have trained with SURFPAC in San Diego this summer.
For more news from Commander, Naval Surface Force, Pacific Fleet, visit www.surfaceforces.surfor.navy.mil or follow the Surface Force at www.facebook.com/surfacewarriors.