USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN, At Sea (NNS) -- More than 25 Navy Reserve Officer Training Course (ROTC) midshipmen joined the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group for a monthlong training cruise.
Midshipmen from the Naval Academy and other colleges and universities were assigned to the Lincoln Strike Group from July to August to learn about life at sea from the perspective of both the officer and enlisted ranks.
"The summer cruise is important to midshipmen training because it shows them what life is like underway on an aircraft carrier," said Lt. Cmdr. Jessica Parker, Lincoln's midshipmen training officer.
Typically, midshipmen who participate are about to begin their sophomore, junior or senior years at their respective schools. Depending on their graduation year, they will either go through an "enlisted cruise" or an "officer cruise." Each type of cruise is named after the area of concentration when it comes to training midshipmen. During these cruises they are introduced to different working environments including the flight deck, combat direction center, the bridge and the arresting gear spaces.
"The second class midshipmen develop an appreciation for the living and working conditions of our hard-working enlisted Sailors as well as an idea of some of their responsibilities," said Parker. "The first class midshipmen get the opportunity to see naval officers in action, leading divisions and operating warfare systems, while experiencing firsthand the military traditions and courtesies observed aboard a United States ship."
The Navy embarks midshipmen aboard ships to develop them as Navy leaders and prepare them for active duty before they are commissioned. Over the course of their time underway, they will interact with the officers and crew, participate in formal and informal training exercises and live in the same environment as any other Sailor or officer attached to the ship.
"This program has been truly eye opening," said Midshipman Charles Calabretta, of Texas A&M University. "Being able to observe every facet of a nuclear powered aircraft carrier has shown me how amazing and complex this ship truly is. The trials and tribulations of Lincoln's recent training exercises have afforded me the opportunity to witness leadership under pressure, and how hard each sailor must work to achieve a common goal."
Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group consists of flagship USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2, embarked Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 9 and the guided-missile cruiser USS Cape St. George (CG 71).
Ships assigned to DESRON 9 include the destroyers USS Halsey (DDG 97), USS Momsen (DDG 92), USS Shoup (DDG 86) and USS Sterett (DDG 104). Squadrons from CVW-2 include the "Bounty Hunters" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 2, the "Blue Blasters" of VFA-34, the "Kestrels" of VFA-37, the "Vigilantes" of VFA-151, the "Lancers" of Electronic Attack Squadron 131, the "Sun Kings" of Airborne Early Warning Squadron 116, the "Saberhawks" of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 77 and the "Golden Falcons" of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 12.
For more news from USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn72/.