US Navy’s Junior officers (JO) assigned to amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) are learning to overcome the difficulties of navigating the Navy’s newest amphibious assault ship.
America’s JOs are beginning their harbor navigation training – a prerequisite to earning their surface warfare qualification – by embarking aboard local tugboats to learn the transit route through San Diego harbor.
Ens. Ben Travers, assigned to America, said:
Channel navigating involves managing draft, harbor contacts, tidal ebb and flow, as well as the shape of the harbor.
Normally, officers receive this training on the bridge as the ship enters and exits homeport. Because America is currently receiving upgrades as part of a post-shakedown availability (PSA), the JOs are getting a unique experience.
America is 844 feet long and 106 feet in width. With ships this size and larger, tugboats are needed to support their movement so that the ships do not slide off course due to tidal drift or the amount of power the propulsion puts out.
The junior officers observed amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans (LPD 18) and Nimitz-class nuclear-powered supercarrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) get underway, learning much about the intricacies of navigating the San Diego Harbor channel.
America has sent six junior officers to date and will continue the training throughout the PSA period.
Image: US Navy