PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- Nineteen Midshipmen from the U.S. Naval Academy joined Sailors and Marines aboard amphibious transport dock ship USS Portland (LPD 27), for their summer training on June 22.
Over the last several weeks, midshipmen met and shadowed Portland Sailors to learn different aspects of the Surface Navy.
"This is my first time being on a ship underway and it has been interesting," said Midshipmen 3rd Class Taiga Robb from Tokyo, Japan. "Working with officers and enlisted personnel in different departments like Damage Controlman and Boatswain's Mates showed me how the chemistry of the ship is brought together".
Midshipmen training is similar to a summer internship, or a work-study program. The objective is for them to further their professional development, become familiarized with naval forces, further incline them to a career path in the U.S. Navy, stimulate regional and cultural awareness and accomplish a professional core competence.
"I have learned a lot while I have been onboard," said Midshipmen 3rd Class Hyun-Young Kim from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. "Learning how the enlisted Sailors work gave me a great prospective for my journey to becoming an officer."
The midshipmen have been standing watches and working with their running mates, who have been teaching them what it's like to be an enlisted Sailor aboard Portland. They have also met with members of the Wardroom and Chief's Mess to gain different perspectives of what it means to be a part of the crew aboard a ship.
"Having the midshipmen onboard has been a great experience," said Gunner's Mate 1st Class Cecil Ford. "The midshipmen that I had working with me saw all of our maintenance, daily routine, and helped us prepare for Firing exercises to include ships small arms weapons and the MK46 - really been a big helping hand within my division."
While midshipmen got to experience the different jobs and workload of an enlisted Sailor, they were also able to experience the shipboard lifestyle, such as eating on the mess decks, sleeping in the enlisted berthings, and exercising in shipboard gyms.
"It has been a challenge learning how to get in and out of my rack, as well as learning my way around the ship," said Robb. "After a few days it became easier to remember the exact locations."
The midshipmen have participated in numerous evolutions underway with the crew, including underway replenishments, gun shoots, Bingo on their first night, the ships first reverse triathlon event, small boat operations, multi-warfare training and they will have an opportunity to explore Hawaii while the ship is in port.
Portland is commanded by Capt. J.R. Hill and serves under Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 3. Portland is currently serving as the flagship for Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet for Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2018 in Hawaii. For the first time since RIMPAC 2002, U.S. 3rd Fleet's Command Center will relocate from San Diego to Pearl Harbor to support command and control of all 3rd Fleet forces in 3rd Fleet's area of responsibility to include forces operating in the Western Pacific.
For more information, visit www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, or www.twitter.com/usnavy.
For more news from USS Portland (LPD 27), visit www.navy.mil/local/portland/.