USS John S McCain
Fortune Favors The Brave
PACIFIC OCEAN (July 06, 2017) Midshipman Thomas Larrea, left, learns how to man the helm by Quartermaster Seaman Devin Mask, right, while aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56). McCain is on patrol in the Pacific Ocean in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Joshua Mortensen/Released)
Midshipmen Embark John S. McCain for Summer Cruise

EAST CHINA SEA (NNS) – Seven midshipmen embarked the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56), nicknamed “Big Bad John,” from July 3-21.

The midshipmen joined Big Bad John during its port visit to Darwin, Australia and remained aboard the ship for three weeks as part of a summer cruise program designed to teach them about shipboard life. The midshipmen were assigned junior petty officers as running mates to help them with day-to-day shipboard life.

“It’s humbling and really eye opening to be forward-deployed like we are,” said Midshipman 3rd Class Baliee Ward. “I have a lot of respect for the Sailors in 7th Fleet knowing that they are here for a purpose and a mission.”

The midshipmen experienced several underway training events involving the ship’s combat systems, engineering, damage control, and medical departments to see first-hand the busy pace a forward-deployed ship. The midshipmen also saw how Navy ships receive supplies and fuel during a replenishment-at-sea (RAS) with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Towada-class fast-combat support ship JS Hamana (AOE 424).

“I will not forget my time here on Big Bad John,” said Midshipman 3rd Class Charles Dimer. “I became a better person from the experience and from the knowledge that the ship and her crew offered to me, and I couldn’t be more grateful.”

McCain is forward-deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, assigned to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15 in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

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