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Midshipmen Show Growing Interest in Littoral Combat Ship Pipeline

16 March 2022

From Lt. Anthony Junco, Commander, Littoral Combat Ship Squadron TWO

NAVAL STATION MAYPORT, Fla. – Newly commissioned naval officers have their pick of the litter, or more accurately the fleet, when it comes to their first platform. Several Midshipmen from the Jacksonville University (JU) NJORTC took an in depth look at the training they would receive should they select a Littoral Combat Ship (LCS).

The JU Midshipmen toured the Surface Combat Systems Training Command (SCSTC) Detachment Southeast’s LCS Training Facility (LTF), March 3. During this tour, the Midshipmen saw and experienced the advance facilities and training that new officers receive prior to reporting aboard an LCS.

“The Midshipmen got to explore the LTF,” said Lt. Michael Sefcik, a tactical action officer instructor at the LTF. “They went through the bridge part task trainer, the virtual reality labs, the mission bay trainer, and then lastly, we took them down to the integrated team trainer to have them practice driving the ship.”

The LCS is a fast, agile, mission-focused platform designed to operate in near-shore environments. The LCS drives a new approach to individual, team, and unit-level training to accommodate the minimum manning and rotational crewing concepts. Operational demands do not allow sufficient time for under instruction watchstanding or proficiency training during operational periods, and crews do not have organic training teams or embedded training systems. This approach drives the need for the shore-centric Train-to-Qualify (T2Q) and Train-to-Certify (T2C) concepts, which rely heavily on high-fidelity shore-based trainers. Currently, there are two LTFs. The LTF, here in Mayport, provides training for the Freedom-variant. The other LTF, located in San Diego, is operated by SCSTC San Diego and provides training for both LCS variants.

“I like the mission set and the mission capabilities,” said Officer Candidate and prior Master-at-Arms 1st Class Mandy McCave.

When asked if she would choose LCS for her first platform, McCave replied, “If I get chosen for Surface Warfare Officer? Absolutely. I like the mission and also the opportunities that it holds.”

McCave was not the only Midshipman visiting the LTF that showed interest in the platform. Midshipman 2nd Class Emily Moore also saw opportunities within the LCS pipeline.

“I think the trainer is a really great way to learn how to do the basics of everything before you actually get on the ship,” said Moore. “We got to see how to drive the ship from the simulator and how realistic it really is from the LCS that I've been on and toured. I think you get a really cool mission set. There's so much that you can do.”

The LCS platform offers best in class training and unique capabilities making it a promising pipeline. The dynamic range of leadership opportunities that come with a small and versatile crew through an array of mission sets, make them an excellent choice for Midshipmen and Officer Candidates alike for their first platform.


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