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United States Naval Academy Midshipmen Tour USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul

14 September 2022

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

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Freedom-variant littoral combat ship USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul (LCS 21) hosted tours for midshipmen from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, Sept. 2-6.

The midshipmen visited various spaces on Minneapolis-Saint Paul, including the airborne and waterborne mission zones, the mess decks, the pilot house, and the forecastle of the ship, while subject matter experts on the ship discussed the multitude of ship capabilities.

“I wasn’t too knowledgeable about the littoral combat ships before coming on board,” said Midshipman 2nd Class Ayush Padhi, a junior at the Naval Academy. “However, after touring the ship, seeing all of the advanced technology and learning how efficient the crew and ship are, I think it’s a really great ship.”

Prior to the Minneapolis-Saint Paul’s arrival, the USNA midshipmen completed their in-depth summer training, where they learned about basic seamanship, basic damage control, navigation, and the various duties and responsibilities of surface warfare officers.

“It was really cool to see that all of the training we did over the summer translates to the fleet very well,” said Midshipman 4th Class Charlotte Caywood, a freshman at the Naval Academy. “I didn’t come from a Navy family, so this was my first time seeing an actual ship. I never considered the LCS program as an option, and while I still have a long way to go, it will definitely be on my list of options when the time comes.”

While discussing the ship’s capabilities, the crewmembers also talked about daily life on a littoral combat ship, touching on topics like meal quality, crew morale, and the closeness of the crew.

“You hear a lot about the submarine community, how it operates and how close the community is, and I always thought that was exclusive to the sub community,” said Midshipman 3rd Class Jarrod Schad, a sophomore at the Naval Academy. “You don’t hear about that level of closeness in the surface community, so it was great to hear that the LCS community is so tight-knit and unique in that manner.”

Minneapolis-Saint Paul is homeported at Naval Station Mayport in Jacksonville, Florida.

Founded in 1845, the U.S. Naval Academy is a prestigious four-year service academy that prepares midshipmen morally, mentally, and physically to be professional officers in the naval service. More than 4,400 men and women representing every state in the U.S. and several foreign countries make up the student body, known as the Brigade of Midshipmen. Midshipmen learn from military and civilian instructors and participate in intercollegiate varsity sports and extracurricular activities. They also study subjects such as leadership, ethics, small arms, drill, seamanship and navigation, tactics, naval engineering and weapons, cyber security, and military law. Upon graduation, midshipmen earn a Bachelor of Science degree in a choice of 26 different subject majors and go on to serve at least five years of exciting and rewarding service as commissioned officers in the U.S. Navy or U.S. Marine Corps.

LCS is a fast, agile, mission-focused platform designed for operation in near-shore environments yet capable of open-ocean operation. It is designed to defeat asymmetric "anti-access" threats and is capable of supporting forward presence, maritime security, sea control, and deterrence.

 

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