YOKOSUKA, Japan - Twelve U.S. midshipmen learned what it takes to operate at sea aboard the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG 62), July 22 to Aug. 12.
A midshipman’s summer cruise is an opportunity for the future officers to step out of the classrooms of their respective colleges and universities and into the active-duty Navy to learn and experience day-to-day operations as well as ship life from enlisted Sailors and officers.
“We’re in a learning and training environment so we’re supposed to be sponges to not only the officer side but also the enlisted side,” said Midshipman 1st Class Joseph Yott, from Louisiana State University. “I’ve definitely learned that what you put into it, is exactly what you’re going to get out of it.”
During the cruise, midshipmen were able to observe what is required for a front line warship to be ready. They participated in daily shipboard operations and exercises such as bridge watches, damage control training, operations and intelligence briefs, and live-fire gunnery exercises.
“It’s awesome to follow the enlisted [Sailor] and live the life that they live day-to-day, going to their watch sections and doing the different jobs,” said Midshipman 3rd Class Erik Sabelstrom, from the U.S. Naval Academy. “I constantly ask myself, what can I learn from this division or that division or what can I learn from the bridge or [combat information center].”
One major evolution the midshipmen got to observe was the replenishment-at-sea between Chancellorsville and the Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Pecos (T-AO 197). This evolution required cooperation and communication from different departments aboard the ship such as deck, engineering, and navigation.
“Since I’m going surface warfare, I chose this cruise so that way I could be more familiar with the environment,” said Midshipman 1st Class Sarah Howard, from the U.S. Naval Academy. “The biggest thing I’ve gathered on this cruise was to focus on the right things and to focus on the mission and looking out for others. If you get caught up in all the little things, you’ll miss the big picture.”
The group of midshipmen concluded their cruise with the return of Chancellorsville to Fleet Activities Yokosuka.
Chancellorsville is forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia Pacific region.