Four students from the United States Naval Academy spent an eventful two weeks on board USS Ingraham (FFG 61) for their first midshipman cruise from May to June.
The purpose of the cruise after freshman year is to expose midshipmen to typical enlisted life in the Navy. They live in the enlisted berthing spaces and experience working both in various departments on board and across the Navy communities.
In addition to working side by side with enlisted Sailors, the midshipmen also trained with division officers, applying their Academy lessons on basic ship handling and standard commands during conning officer watches.
When not standing watch the midshipmen sampled various jobs on a deployed surface vessel: fighting simulated shipboard fires, navigating in the small boat, climbing the main mast, training with the embarked Coast Guard law enforcement detachment (LEDET), and clearing the ship using Visit, Board Search and Seizure Tactical Team maneuvers.
The midshipmen even observed how the Ingraham crew, embarked helicopter squadron, and LEDET collaborated to successfully intercept, search, and seize a vessel, its crew, and a shipment of illegal narcotics.
Press Release, July 14, 2014; Image: US Navy