SAN DIEGO – The Arleigh Burke guided-missile destroyer USS Pinckney (DDG 91) hosted 16 midshipmen on board June 9 to show them what the surface warfare community has to offer.
The embark was part of the annual Professional Training of Midshipmen (PROTRAMID), which is a four week program that exposes midshipmen entering their junior year at the U.S. Naval Academy with their opportunities within the Department of the Navy.
“Now is the time for them to begin thinking about the community they want to select and the reason it is so important to expose them to as many areas of the fleet as possible during their summers,” stated Lt. j.g. Justin Searle, a 2005 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and Pinckney’s navigator.
During their time on board, midshipmen were shown the integrated weapons system, AEGIS combat suite, air defense capabilities, aviation capabilities and the two gas turbine engines that propel the ship.
“I didn’t realize that destroyers span so many mission areas,” Midshipman 2nd Class Philip Mahne said. “If you’re interested in weapons, you can walk up and look at Close in Weapons System (CIWS). If you’re curious about aviation, you can walk aft and watch a helicopter land on the flight deck. There is also plenty of technology if you’re into computers.”
Midshipmen also watched a detect to engage scenario as part of the AEGIS weapon system in the Combat Information Center (CIC).
“What makes this attractive to me is that it’s a warfighting platform with lots of opportunity for application,” Midshipman 2nd Class Douglas Capra said. “You walk around and it’s so obvious that the ship is integrated with the warfighting mission.”
A key point noted by midshipmen during their trip was the camaraderie between the crew and how well the entire ship worked together to maintain the ship and accomplish the mission.
When asked if his visit to Pinckney influenced his future career choice, Midshipman 2nd Class Alexander Dworjan said,” Definitely. I’ve been confident that I want to fly but now I’m not so sure.”