Fifty Midshipmen from the United States Naval Academy and the United States Merchant Marine Academy embarked with the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) on a seven-day underway as part of a three-week summer training program August 4.
Throughout the seven day sea trial period for Kearsarge, midshipmen participated in damage control training evolutions, small boat operations, medical training and an underway refueling at sea, as well as multiple tours through the ship’s engineering and supply spaces.
“Kearsarge is putting forth great effort to make sure that we give them an opportunity to see all of the different things that out ship does on a daily basis,” said Capt. David L. Bossert, Kearsarge’s commanding officer. “Without this program, I don’t think that these midshipmen would be able to have a full appreciation for the difficulty and complexity that we experience at sea.”
The midshipmen, who are the first group of two training blocks slated to visit Kearsarge, were paired up with junior officers and outstanding petty officers, or ‘running mates’, to facilitate training and mentorship in traditional Navy fashion.
“We’re hoping that they get a realistic view of what they will do and what their impact onboard as a junior officer will be,” said Lt.j.g. Kathryn Place, “We also want them to have an appreciation of all the hard word our Sailors put in on a daily basis because one day they will be leading them.”
The midshipmen visiting Kearsarge were diverse in their training experience, divided by their years of attendance in the program.
After the midshipmen have completed their cruise aboard Kearsarge, they will move on the other commands to experience the similarities and differences between the various warfare communities in the Navy. Many of the midshipmen will complete the summer training program with a new found understanding of the United States Navy and what their future has to offer serving as a commissioned officer.
Kearsarge is currently underway conducting sea trials.