USS Mustin (DDG 89)
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Midshipmen Experience Navy Aboard USS Mustin

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Bryan Reckard, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West Det. Japan

USS MUSTIN, At Sea (NNS) -- Midshipmen from the Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) program embarked USS Mustin (DDG 89) June 8 for the chance to experience the fleet firsthand.

This summer's cruise aboard Mustin is designed to help midshipmen make informed career decisions and familiarize them with the mission and tasks of various warfare areas.

Midshipman 2nd Class Thomas Purcell, from Holland, Pa., an aerospace engineering major at Pennsylvania State University, has experienced everything from air operations to gun qualifications on the flight deck.

"I've been through CIC (combat information center), the bridge, supply, operations, and air operations, as well as a ton of evolutions from the VBSS drills (visit, board, search and seizure) to the UNREP (underway replenishment)," said Purcell.

Purcell also participated in line-handling evolutions, man overboard drills, steered the ship from the bridge and fired 9mm and M16 weapons, all for the first-time.

Midshipman 2nd Class Carolyn Sienko, from Williamston, Mich., a history major at the University of Wisconsin, said that she's been able see a lot of things that few college students ever have the chance to see and Mustin's crew made her time on the ship an incredible experience.

"The crew is great," said Sienko. "They are extremely helpful and are always willing to help no matter how busy they are. They continue to answer my many questions and are always willing to give advice. The crew is amazing."

Sienko had some advice of her own to give to any midshipman who participates in future NROTC summer cruise training.

"Get involved as much as possible. Do everything that is available to do and keep your eyes open. You'll learn a lot and appreciate everything so much more if you just pay attention. The worst thing you can do is lay in your rack all day trying to ignore everything around you," said Sienko. "Listen to the crew. They have a lot to teach and show you."

Both Sienko and Purcell will spend approximately a month aboard the ship to complete their summer cruise training before returning back to the United States.

Mustin is one of seven Arleigh Burke-class destroyers assigned to Destroyer Squadron 15 and operates from Yokosuka, Japan. Mustin is currently underway operating in the 7th Fleet Area of Responsibility.

For more news from USS Mustin (DDG 89), visit www.navy.mil/local/ddg89/.

Story Number: NNS090625-07 Release Date: 6/25/2009 12:32:00 PM

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