Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Midshipmen Spend Summer Training Cruise On Board USS Bataan During Deployment

Post by MC3 Mark Hays, USS Bataan Public Affairs

Fifteen Midshipmen from the United States Naval Academy became the second group to embark the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) for summer training from June 23- July 18.
During the summer, these Midshipmen are assigned to various units throughout the Navy for training intended to give them first-hand experience in the fleet. This training is designed to assist them later when they request which areas of the Navy or Marine Corps they would like to serve.
Midshipmen prepare to hoist flags during a training evolution on board USS Bataan.
Photo by MC3 Chase Hawley, USS Bataan Public Affairs
The group of Midshipmen were paired up with junior officers and enlisted, known as running mates, who helped with preparing the future officers for shipboard life. Running mates were instrumental for training and preparing Midshipman for their future in the Navy. During the stay, they provided important information based on personal experiences and professional knowledge.
"This was my first time being a running mate,” said Personnel Specialist 2nd Class DeeAnn Cabrera, from Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. “It was an eye opening experience to show a future officer around the ship, which helps them make their decision on their future job.”
While aboard Bataan, the Midshipmen spent their time observing in work spaces such as engineering, supply, personnel, and deck which are designed to broaden their prospective as future leaders.

Mids wait to board a landing craft air cushion (LCAC) on board USS Bataan.
Photo by MC1 Julie Matyascik, USS Bataan Public Affairs
"I got to spend a lot of time in deck department,” said Midshipman Morgan Jung from Tenstrike, Minn. “During the RAS (Replenishment at Sea) I helped the Deck Department Sailors who maintain the Phone and Distance line which was a really neat experience.”
During their cruise Midshipmen saw firsthand an amphibious assault ship’s capabilities by riding in a Landing Craft Air Cushion, CH-53 Super Stallion, touring the inside of a tank, and helping Bataan’s Landing Signal Enlisted Sailor direct aircraft onto the flight deck.
"I think I want to be a pilot,” said Midshipman Meghan Moloney, from Springfield, Va. “After directing in Helo’s with the LSE’s, I was sold on pursuing my future as a pilot. I want to experience that everyday.”
During their three week stay, Bataan’s leadership provided hands on training that Midshipmen cannot get at the Naval Academy.
Mids learn how to set up plates for welding in the metal shop on board USS Bataan.
Photo by MC1 RJ Stratchko, USS Bataan Public Affairs
“What better way to train our future officers than onboard the Bataan,” said Capt. George J. Vassilakis, Commanding Officer, USS Bataan (LHD 5). “Being on deployment, doing real world missions is something the academy just cannot offer in a classroom. The future of the Navy is bright with Sailors like these preparing to lead it.”
Bataan is the flagship for the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group and, with the embarked 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.