USS Sterett
Forever Dauntless
NROTC midshipmen
NROTC midshipmen attend a question and answer session with junior officers on board USS Sterett (DDG 104) Dec. 18 as part of their shipboard training. (Photo by Ensign Kyle Hanton)
Midshipmen Train Aboard USS Sterett

SAN DIEGO – A group of six Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) midshipmen from several universities joined the crew of the guided-missile destroyer USS Sterett (DDG 104) Dec. 13-23 to receive training and experience life at sea.

The training program was a unique opportunity for both the midshipmen and the Sterett crew as most midshipmen training events usually happen during the summer months.

The six NROTC midshipmen came to Sterett from Arizona State University, Oregon State University, Texas A&M University and the University of New Mexico.

During their visit, the midshipmen got to experience live gunfire exercises, anti-submarine warfare scenarios, air-defense exercises, damage control training, and shiphandling evolutions. One of the highlights for the midshipmen was observing an underway replenishment with the replenishment oiler USNS Henry J. Kaiser (T-AO-187).

“The past 10 days have been a great experience,” said Midshipmen First Class Nicholas Gonsalves from Oregon State University. “It was motivating to get to experience life at sea and seeing all of the evolutions that I will be a part of after I commission.”

The winter training cruise marked the final time the students will be at sea as midshipmen. All six of the midshipmen are expected to graduate in the spring and receive their commissions as ensigns.

“Midshipmen training cruises provide a valuable experience for both the midshipmen and the crew,” said Cmdr. Stewart Bateshansky, Sterett’s commanding officer. “By experiencing our daily routine and operational tempo, the midshipmen are well-prepared to enter the fleet as surface warfare officers in the spring.”

Sterett is part of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 9 and is homeported at Naval Base San Diego. DESRON 9 also includes the guided missile destroyers USS Shoup (DDG 86), USS Momsen (DDG 92) and USS Preble (DDG 88) as well as the guided missile frigates USS Rodney M. Davis (FFG 60) and USS Ingraham (FFG 61). Sterett returned from her second deployment to the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet areas of responsibility in July 2012.

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