TIMOR SEA - Future naval officers from the U.S. Naval Academy and Oregon State University Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) have been given the opportunity to gain real life experience aboard USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) 25 July.
The six Midshipmen will spend the next few weeks aboard USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) experiencing firsthand life onboard a ship. During their training, they will be guided by various enlisted Sailors and officers, “running mates,” in order to capture a glimpse of their future duties as commissioned officers.
“These Midshipmen couldn’t ask for a better opportunity,” said Cmdr. Joseph Femino, Executive Officer aboard Curtis Wilbur. “In a period of four weeks they will travel halfway around the world, conduct operations with a carrier strike group, cross the equator, have an overseas port visit and participate in a bilateral exercise.”
Summer cruises are an essential part of Midshipmen training and allow them to observe lessons taught in the classroom. Midshipmen onboard Curtis Wilbur have displayed a great amount of enthusiasm in learning.
“This is the furthest I have ever been from home,” said Midshipman Third Class Earl Day Ehrart V, from the U.S. Naval Academy. “So far it has been a good experience and I have learned so much for the short time I have been on board.”
Having Midshipmen aboard also allows members of the crew to share their knowledge with their future leaders.
“The Navy has a lot invested in these Midshipmen,” said Engineman 1st Class Shawn Henderson. “They will be officers in the near future and while there are here I want to show them what I do as a Sailor and as a leader.”
The Midshipmen are scheduled to stay aboard Curtis Wilbur until Aug. 17, they will then return to their respective universities to continue their education.
Curtis Wilbur is one of seven destroyers assigned to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15.
Curtis Wilbur is participating in Talisman Saber 2011, a bilateral exercise intended to train Australia and the U.S. forces in planning and conducting Combined Task Force operations in order to enhance Australian and U.S. combat readiness and interoperability.