SAN DIEGO - A group of 12 U.S. Naval Sea Cadets, ranging from 12 to 17 years old, joined the crew of USS Russell (DDG 59) to experience life aboard an active Navy warship, Nov. 14-17.
Arriving at 0130 after a seven hour drive from Fresno, California, the cadets were given a quick safety brief before retiring to their racks for a few hours of sleep before breakfast.
Being escorted by Chief Hospital Corpsman (Retired) Kris Reyes of the Fresno Battalion of the U.S. Naval Sea Cadets, the students started their first day with a tour of the Russell, followed by small arms instruction, a Combat Information Center simulation, and an engineering plant tour.
Hands-on medical emergency training, damage control training, and “mock take-down” training rounded out the day. On Sunday, the cadets assisted with sanding and painting the aft SPY array bulkhead and railings. In addition to Russell, the crews of both USS Somerset (LPD 25) and USS Freedom (LCS 1) gave tours of their respective ships, exposing the cadets to wide range of ship types and naval missions.
On Monday, with the entire Russell crew on board, the cadets were given a chance to sit down and talk with the Sailors and find out why about why they joined the Navy and what life is like in the Navy and on board Russell.
At the end of the discussion, their medical training from the first day was put to the test with a medical emergency drill with Cadet Mooneyham dressed as a mock casualty. The cadets successfully treated their shipmate’s injuries.
Cmdr. James Harney, Russell’s commanding officer, later held a question and answer session with the students. There they presented him with a set of “fancy-work” knots from the cadets’ line handling and knot work instructor.
Russell Command Master Chief Glenn Hurdle then escorted the cadets on a tour of USS Albuquerque (SSN 706), where they learned about life on a submarine.
The final day included additional damage control instruction and a torpedo tube demonstration.
“Hosting the Sea Cadets was an invaluable experience both for Russell’s crew and the students,” said Harney. “It was an honor to be part of developing the future leaders of the Navy.”
Russell is assigned as part of Destroyer Squadron One. The ship and crew are currently in the basic training phase as they prepare for a future deployment.